Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Uncertainty as a Key Influence in the Decision To Admit Patients with Transient Ischemic Attack.

Homoya BJ, Damush TM, Sico JJ, Miech EJ, Arling GW, Myers LJ, Ferguson JB, Phipps MS, Cheng EM, Bravata DM. Uncertainty as a Key Influence in the Decision To Admit Patients with Transient Ischemic Attack. Journal of general internal medicine. 2019 Sep 1; 34(9):1715-1723.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Patients with transient ischemic attacks (TIA) are at high risk of subsequent vascular events. Hospitalization improves quality of care, yet admission rates for TIA patients vary considerably. OBJECTIVES: We sought to identify factors associated with the decision to admit patents with TIA. DESIGN: We conducted a secondary analysis of a prior study's data including semi-structured interviews, administrative data, and chart review. PARTICIPANTS: We interviewed multidisciplinary clinical staff involved with TIA care. Administrative data included information for TIA patients in emergency departments or inpatient settings at VA medical centers (VAMCs) for fiscal years (FY) 2011 and 2014. Chart reviews were conducted on a subset of patients from 12 VAMCs in FY 2011. APPROACH: For the qualitative data, we focused on interviewees' responses to the prompt: "Tell me what influences you in the decision to or not to admit TIA patients." We used administrative data to identify admission rates and chart review data to identify ABCD scores (a tool to classify stroke risk after TIA). KEY RESULTS: Providers' decisions to admit TIA patients were related to uncertainty in several domains: lack of a facility TIA-specific policy, inconsistent use of ABCD score, and concerns about facilities' ability to complete a timely workup. There was a disconnect between staff perceptions about TIA admission and facility admission rates. According to chart review data, staff at facilities with higher admission rates in FY 2011 reported consistent reliance on ABCD scores and related guidelines in admission decision-making. CONCLUSIONS: Many factors contributed to decisions regarding admitting a patient with TIA; however, clinicians' uncertainty appeared to be a key driver. Further quality improvement interventions for TIA care should focus on facility adoption of TIA protocols to address uncertainty in TIA admission decision-making and to standardize timely evaluation of TIA patients and delivery of secondary prevention strategies.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.