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Keywords

Computerized clinical record, Documentation, Electronic health record, Information retrieval, Nursing documentation, Pain management, Pain measurement, Quality improvement

 

Authors

  1. SAMUELS, JOANNE G. PhD, RN
  2. KRITTER, DAWN MS, RRT

Abstract

Pain management documentation, consisting of assessment, interventions, and reassessment, can help provide an important means of communication among practitioners to individualize care. Standard-setting organizations use pain management documentation as a key indicator of quality. Adoption of the electronic medical record alters the presentation of pain management documentation data for clinical and quality evaluation use. The purpose of this study was to describe pain management documentation output from the electronic medical record to gain an understanding of its presentation and evaluate the quantity and quality of the output. After institutional review board approval, data were abstracted from 51 electronic records of postsurgical patients in a 100-bed community hospital. Time-variant pain assessments, interventions, and reassessments were organized into pain management episodes to provide clinically interpretable data for evaluation. Data sources were identified. Data generated 1499 episodes for analysis. Analysis of variance results implied that pain management documentation changes with pain severity. Despite legibility and date and time stamping, inconsistencies and omitted and duplicated documentation were identified. Inconsistent data origination posed difficulty for interpreting clinically relevant associations. Improvements are required to streamline fields and consolidate entries to allow for output in alignment with care.