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Test Results - Chronic Critical Values Definition

When a patient has a chronic condition, such as end stage renal failure, and the lab values are "critical" by our hospital's definition but are expected - or "normal" - for that particular patient, the lab and nursing staff find themselves calling the same physician several times a day to report these values when it really isn't necessary. Can we develop a policy for patients with certain chronic conditions that will allow the physician to define the "critical" levels of the lab values that should be reported for a specific patient?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Each health care organization may define for itself what the "critical values" are. Provisions may be made for certain patient-specific situations in which values that would be "critical" for most patients are not critical for a particular patient or for patients with a particular diagnosis. The parameters must be objectively defined and are known to all staff who are involved in the process of reporting values.
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG
Last reviewed by Standards Interpretation: April 11, 2016 Represents the most recent date that the FAQ was reviewed (e.g. annual review).
This page was last updated on October 25, 2021 with update notes of: test Types of changes and an explanation of change type: Editorial changes only: Format changes only. No changes to content. | Review only, FAQ is current: Periodic review completed, no changes to content. | Reflects new or updated requirements: Changes represent new or revised requirements.

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