Documentation should ideally occur in real time immediately after completion of a service. Although electronic records often do not print the time that documentation notes were entered on the medical record, automated anesthesia record keeping systems store an audit trail that time stamps events entered by all anesthesia providers. As more lawyers become aware of this fact and requisition audit trails, prospective charting of necessary documentation may undermine the integrity of an anesthesia care team accused of malpractice, with potentially significant medicolegal consequences. We changed existing documentation practices of a large academic practice via a three-step process. Educational sessions increased the percentage of cases with correct timing of emergence documentation from 25% to 60% over a 2-mo period. Automated email performance feedback further increased correct note timing to 70%. When combined with personal contact by a member of the billing office and email copy notification of the chair, the percentage increased to >99.5%. The behavioral change was seen in all individuals, as 95% of attendings had ≤2 records/mo with untimely documentation at the end of the study period. Once the habits were ingrained, further input was rarely necessary over the next 9 mo. This suggests physician behavioral change related to work process flow, unlike that related to patient care, is easily sustained.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Anesthesia and Analgesia|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine