Emily Allard-Phillips, MD
Patient Safety and Quality Presenter

TITLE: Patient Satisfaction and Cost of Routine Urine Dipstick Testing in Low-Risk Obstetric Patients


OBJECTIVE: This study had two objectives: to assess low-risk patient satisfaction with routine urine dipstick testing and to evaluate the cost of routine urine dipstick testing in the same population.

METHODS: The study was conducted in two parts. For the primary objective, this was a survey-based study in low-risk obstetric patients presenting for routine care at UF Medical Plaza (MP) in the resident continuity clinics. The survey was administered anonymously over a four-week period, and it constituted of nine statements designed to assess patients’ opinions on urine dipstick testing. The responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. For the secondary objective, this was a retrospective chart review carried out over a four-week period of low-risk obstetric patients at both MP and Springhill in the resident and APP clinics. It was determined whether the patients left a urine sample at the time of their prenatal appointment for a dipstick or not. Patients with a known, current hypertensive diagnosis, a blood pressure equal to or above 140/90, symptoms of a urinary tract infection or preeclampsia, or who had not previously provided a urine sample for an initial urine culture during pregnancy were excluded. Cost of the tests was then calculated.

RESULTS: For the primary objective, a total of 21 surveys were collected from the resident clinics at MP. The majority of patients disagreed with the statement that collecting urine samples was stressful (95%) or bothersome (90%). In addition, 95% of patients agreed that urine sample testing was an important part of prenatal care and that they understood the purpose of testing. For the secondary objective, there were 419 low-risk patients of whom 346 (83%) left a urine specimen. The total cost of routine urine dipstick analyses, over the four-week period at MP and Springhill was $186.57.

CONCLUSION: Routine urine dipstick testing in the low-risk obstetric population is well accepted and considered an integral component of care. However, its cost effectiveness remains to be determined.