Inpatient Management and Post-Discharge Outcomes of Hyperkalemia

Hospital Practice, 2021

Hyperkalemia, a disorder characterized by elevated serum potassium levels, is commonly treated in hospitals rather than an outpatient setting. Despite this, there is little recent real-world evidence regarding patient outcomes following hospitalization for hyperkalemia. An article coauthored by Analysis Group Vice President Keith Betts and Managers Erin Cook and Fan Mu fills this gap by analyzing patient characteristics, inpatient clinical management, and readmission among patients in the US with mild, moderate, and severe hyperkalemia.

The authors – who also include researchers from Baylor University Medical Center, Tulane University Medical Center, Oschner Medical Center, and AstraZeneca – conducted statistical analyses of electronic medical records from the Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet) of 21,793 hyperkalemia patients between 2012 and 2018. Among the study’s most salient findings was that, while more than 80% of hyperkalemia patients’ serum potassium levels normalized during inpatient stay, recurrence and hospital readmission occurred frequently, and approximately one in six patients treated in an inpatient setting died.

The article, “Inpatient Management and Post-Discharge Outcomes of Hyperkalemia,” was published in the journal Hospital Practice. Funding for the study was provided by AstraZeneca. Managing Principal Eric Wu provided study design support.

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Davis J, Israni R, Mu F, Cook E, Szerlip H, Uwaifo G, Fonseca V, Betts K