Documentation of guideline adherence in antenatal records across maternal weight categories: a chart review
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BACKGROUND: Documentation in medical records fulfills key functions, including management of care, communication, quality assurance and record keeping. We sought to describe: 1) rates of standard prenatal care as documented in medical charts, and given the higher risks with excess weight, whether this documentation varied among normal weight, overweight and obese women; and 2) adherence to obesity guidelines for obese women as documented in the chart. METHODS: We conducted a chart review of 300 consecutive charts of women who delivered a live singleton at an academic tertiary centre from January to March 2012, computing Analysis of Variance and Chi Square tests. RESULTS: The proportion of completed fields on the mandatory antenatal forms varied from 100% (maternal age) to 52.7% (pre-pregnancy body mass index). Generally, documentation of care was similar across all weight categories for maternal and prenatal genetic screening tests, ranging from 54.0% (documentation of gonorrhea/chlamydia tests) to 85.0% (documentation of anatomy scan). Documentation of education topics varied widely, from fetal movement in almost all charts across all weight categories but discussion of preterm labour in only 20.6%, 12.7% and 13.4% of normal weight, overweight and obese women's charts (p = 0.224). Across all weight categories, documentation of discussion of exercise, breastfeeding and pain management occurred in less than a fifth of charts. CONCLUSION: Despite a predominance of excess weight in our region, as well as increasing perinatal risks with increasing maternal weight, weight-related issues and other elements of prenatal care were suboptimally documented across all maternal weight categories, despite an obesity guideline.
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