Efficacy of the routine admission urinalysis

Am J Med. 1987 Apr;82(4):719-22. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(87)90006-4.


The clinical efficacy of routine admission urinalyses was evaluated in 301 patients admitted to the internal medicine wards of a university teaching hospital. Using a consensus analysis approach, three Department of Medicine faculty members reviewed the patients' charts to determine which tests were performed routinely and which test results led to diagnostic or therapeutic management changes. Of the 243 urinalyses performed, 123 (51 percent) were ordered routinely for patients without recognizable medical indications. Results of the routine urinalyses were abnormal in 42 (34 percent) of the patients and led to additional laboratory testing in 20 (16 percent) of the cases. However, the test results led to therapeutic changes in only three (2.4 percent) of the patients, and in two of these patients, the treatment instituted probably was unnecessary. It is concluded that the impact of routine admission urinalysis on patient care is very small and that there is little justification for ordering this test for all patients admitted to the hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Urine / analysis*