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The surgical admissions proforma: Does it make a difference?

By Jasmine Ehsanullah, Umar Ahmad, Kohmal Solanki, Justin Healy and Naim Kadoglou


Admissions records are essential in communicating key information regarding unwell patients and at handover of care. We designed, implemented and evaluated the impact of a standardised surgical clerking proforma on documentation and clinician acceptability in comparison to freehand clerking. A clerking proforma was implemented for all acute general surgical admissions. Documentation was assessed according to 32 criteria based on the Royal College of Surgeons of England guidelines, for admissions before (n = 72) and after (n = 96) implementation. Fisher's exact test and regression analysis were used to compare groups. Surgical team members were surveyed regarding attitudes towards the new proforma. Proforma uptake was 73%. After implementation, documentation increased in 28/32 criteria. This was statistically significant in 17 criteria, including past surgical history (p < 0.01), medication history (p = 0.03), ADLs (p = 0.02), systems review (p < 0.01), blood pressure (p < 0.01), blood results (p = 0.02) and advice given to the patient (p = 0.02). The proforma remained beneficial after regression analysis accounted for differences in time of day, seniority of the doctor and nights or weekends (coefficient = 0.12 [p < 0.01]). 89% of the surgical team felt the form improved quality of documentation and preferred its use to freehand clerking. 94% felt it was beneficial on the post-take ward-round. Audit quality control was also more reliable with the proforma (inter-observer agreement = 99.3% [κ = 0.997]) versus freehand clerking (97.1% [κ = 0.941]). Our study demonstrates that a standardised surgical clerking proformas improves the quantity and quality of documentation in comparison to freehand clerking, is preferred by health professionals and improves reliability of the audit quality control process

Topics: Surgical admissions, Proforma, Medicine (General), R5-920
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.amsu.2015.01.004
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