Accurate and detailed documentation of surgical procedures is part of good clinical practice, set out by the General Medical Council (GMC). Knee arthroscopy often involves large data sets which require accurate documentation for future assessment and management. This study assesses the quality of documentation of knee arthroscopy, followed by an evaluation of the implementation of a novel operative proforma.
A review of 30 consecutive knee arthroscopy operation notes were analysed for missing information, set against a standardised 30 point criteria. An operation proforma was then introduced, and a further 30 consecutive knee arthroscopy operation notes were analysed. We evaluated allied health professional satisfaction with a Likert point scale survey of 21 allied healthcare professionals (recovery and ward nurses, and physiotherapists) following introduction of the proforma. The mean number of missing items on a 30 point scale was 8.8 (range 0 to 23). Examination under anaesthesia was missed in 43% of cases, tourniquet time in 37% of cases, and wear results in 17% of cases. Following introduction of the proforma, the mean number of missing items was 1.1 (range 0 to 24; p <0.001). This rose to 3.8 after one year (p <0.001) before improvement to 0.7 (p <0.01) with a new and improved proforma. Eighty percent strongly agreed the operation note was clearer, 90% strongly agreed it was more legible, 90% strongly agreed it was more understandable, 50% strongly agreed there was more information recorded, and 100% strongly agreed on the proforma having been improved.
Knee arthroscopy is a common procedure with large data sets, which can often be missed or incomplete. A standardised proforma results in a statistically significant improvement in documentation and reduces the incidence of missing information. They are subjectively clearer, more legible, and generally better compared with handwritten notes. This study demonstrates the improvements in healthcare documentation, both clinically and legally, following introduction of a simple proforma. This concept should be applicable to different specialities and procedures in healthcare.
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