Are self-reported patient encounter data accurate?

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Day, David
Williams, Lucas R.

Day, David & Lucas Williams. (2007). Are self-reported patient encounter data accurate? In Proceedings : 3rd Annual Symposium : Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS : Wichita State University, p.101-102


Medical education programs are using Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) to facilitate the recording of encounters between students and patients during clinical rotations. Wichita State University Physician Assistant Program (WSU-PA) uses PDA’s to track clinical patient encounters during its clinical year. The WSU-PA clinical rotation at Pratt Regional Medical Center Emergency Department (PRMC-ED) provided an opportunity for a comparison of medical records and PDA entries made by students who spent 4 to 6 weeks at that site. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to verify the selfreported data submitted by students with the actual documentation on the medical record and identify any significant inconsistencies. Methods: Student submitted data of all patient encounters by WSU-PA students at PRMC-ED were compared to data obtained through review of medical records for patients seen by the student. The age and sex of the patient as well as the diagnosis of each visit were compared for consistency using HandEchart® Software and Microsoft Excel® Spreadsheets. Results: 32.16% of reported diagnosis matched the medical records, 24.69% of patient age matched the medical records, and 31.18% of patient sex matched the medical records. Conclusion: Data revealed an inconsistency between medical charts and PDA entries of patient encounters during clinical rotations at PRMC. The data that represented the age, sex, and diagnosis of patients encountered in clinical rotations by 2nd year PA students was consistent 1/3 of the time.

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Paper presented to the 3rd Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, April 27, 2007.
Research completed at the Department of Physician Assistant, College of Health Professions