Physician failure to stratify patients hospitalized with acute pulmonary embolism.

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Physician failure to stratify patients hospitalized with acute pulmonary embolism.

Hosp Pract (1995). 2017 Dec;45(5):181-186

Authors: Jacobs MD, Greco A, Mukhtar U, Dunn J, Scharf ML

OBJECTIVES: In 2011, the AHA recommended risk stratification of patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Failure to risk stratify may cause under recognition of intermediate-risk PE and its attendant short- and long-term consequences. We sought to determine if patients hospitalized with acute PE were appropriately risk stratified according to the 2011 AHA Scientific Statement within our hospital system and whether differences exist in adherence to risk stratification by hospital or treating hospital service. We also wished to know the frequency of in-hospital consultations for acute PE which might assist in the risk stratification process.
METHODS: This is a retrospective chart audit of all patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of acute PE between January 2011 and December 2013 at our 937-bed metropolitan, three hospital system comprised of academic University, neuroscience Specialty, and teaching Community hospitals. We evaluated the presence of imaging, laboratory tests, and specialty consultation within 72 h of PE diagnosis by hospital.
RESULTS: 701 patients with acute PE were admitted to our hospital system during the study period. 308 patients (43.9%) met criteria for intermediate-risk PE. 347 patients (49.5%) were considered 'Low-Risk - At Risk', patients defined in a low-risk category not having undergone all recommended risk stratification testing and so truly may have been in a higher risk category. No specialty consultations were utilized for 265 patients (37.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: Our large metropolitan hospital system inadequately risk stratifies hospitalized patients with acute PE. Because nearly one-half of patients with acute PE did not have all recommended testing, clinicians may be under recognizing patients with intermediate-risk PE and their risk for long-term morbidity. Specialty consultations were underutilized and may help guide medical decision-making.

PMID: 28835184 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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