Improvement in the quality of patient notes: A report of a closed loop audit quality improvement project at a neurosurgical department in Pakistan.
Objective: To identify the deficiencies in patient note record-taking with the aim of improving the quality to meet international standards.
Methods: The prospective clinical quality improvement audit study was conducted at the department of Neurosurgery, Allama Iqbal Medical College, Jinnah Hospital Lahore from January 219 to February 2020. The first audit cycle was carried out in July 2019, after data anonymisation, the notes from 1st January to 31st June were analysed in the first audit cycle against a hybrid proforma containing entries deemed essential in operative notes according to the guidelines of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The guidelines were subsequently disseminated among postgraduate trainees using various methods. Post-intervention, randomly selected patient-notes from 1st August to 31st December 2019 were analysed in the second audit which was done in February 2020. The result of the two audits were compared to assess significance of association between the cycles for each categorical variable.
Results: Of the 100 patient-notes audited, 50(50%) were part of each of the two cycles. Significant improvements (p<0.05) were seen between the two cycles in time of operation, pre-op status, post-op care: monitoring instruction, mobilisation, feeding instructions, wound care and position. There was 100% improvement in entries including name, age and sex, date of operation, elective/emergency, name of the procedure and name of operating surgeon and assistant, and the name of anaesthetist. Overall, marked improvement was observed in all parameters except in ‘use of antibiotic prophylaxes’.
Conclusion: Regular audits are needed to monitor and improve,