The anesthetic record: accuracy and completeness
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PURPOSE: To evaluate if anesthesia training and experience influenced chart completion and accuracy. METHODS: One hundred and twenty-four subjects, including medical students, anesthesia residents and community and university based clinical anesthesiologists, were given a standardized patient in a simulator environment and asked to conduct induction and maintenance of anaesthesia. Three critical events were introduced resulting in changes in BP, HR, PETCO2 and SpO2. Subjects were instructed to manage the patient and the anesthetic chart, as was their customary practice. Discrepancy, calculated as the difference between the actual and charted values divided by the actual physiological value was compared by level of training with a two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) for all four physiological variables. The completeness of charting, defined as at least one data point recorded for each of the four physiological variables of the three critical events, was compared across level of training, age of participants and number of years in practice. RESULTS: The overall completeness of charting remained low (< 37%) with no relationship based on the anesthesiologist's age, level of training or number of years in practice. There was discrepancy in charting for all physiological variables (HR, BP, PETCO2 and SpO2, P < 0.0001), with a marked difference in the degree of discrepancy within each level of training. Training resulted in no differences in charting discrepancy. CONCLUSION: Charting of data to the anesthetic record remained incomplete and inaccurate in all groups based on level of training, age and number of years in practice.
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