Delayed Workup of Rectal Bleeding in Adult Primary Care: Examining Process-of-Care Failures.
Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2017 Jan;43(1):32-40
Authors: Weingart SN, Stoffel EM, Chung DC, Sequist TD, Lederman RI, Pelletier SR, Shields HM
BACKGROUND: Although delayed colorectal cancer diagnoses figure prominently in medical malpractice claims, little is known about the quality of primary care clinicians' workup of rectal bleeding.
METHODS: In this study, 438 patients were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes for rectal bleeding, hemorrhoids, and blood in the stool at 10 Boston adult primary care practices. Following nurse chart abstraction, physician reviewers assessed the overall quality of care and key care processes. Subjects' characteristics and physician reviewers' processes-of-care assessments were tabulated, and logistic regression models were used to examine the association of process failures with overall quality and guideline concordance.
RESULTS: Although reviewers judged the overall quality of care to be good or excellent in 337 (77%) of 438 cases, 312 (71%) patients experienced at least one process-of-care failure in the workup of rectal bleeding. Clinicians failed to obtain an adequate family history in 38% of cases, complete a pertinent physical exam in 23%, and order laboratory tests in 16%. Failure to order or perform tests, or to make follow-up plans were associated with increased odds of poor or fair care. Guideline concordance bore little relationship with quality judgments. Reviewers judged that 128 delays could have been reduced or prevented.
CONCLUSION: Process-of-care failures among adult primary care patients with rectal bleeding were frequent and associated with fair or poor quality. Educating practitioners and creating systems to ensure adequate history taking, physical examination, and processes for ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic tests may improve performance.
PMID: 28334584 [PubMed - in process]