Perceived Frequency and Impact of Missing Information at Pediatric Emergency and General Ambulatory Encounters
21 April 2010
accepted: 05 August 2010
16 December 2017 (online)
Objective: To document the perceived frequency, type, and impact of unavailable (“missing”) clinical information during pediatric emergency and general ambulatory encounters.
Methods: This prospective cohort set in the Emergency Department and General Ambulatory Pediatric Clinic at The Children’s Hospital, Aurora, CO, assessed pediatric attending physician perceptions regarding missing information at emergency and general ambulatory encounters. The main outcome measures were the frequency of perceived missing information; its presumed location; time spent seeking; and the perceived effects on resource utilization and overall quality of care.
Results: Pediatric physicians reported missing information for 2% of emergency and 22% of general ambulatory encounters. Types of missing information at general ambulatory visits included immunization (34% of types), general past medical (29%), and disease or visit specific histories (13%). Missing information at ambulatory visits was sought 20% of the time, obtained 4% of the time, and rated “somewhat or very important for today’s care” (73% of the time) and “somewhat or very important for future care” (84% of the time). For encounters with unattained missing information, physicians reported adverse affects on the efficiency of the visit (64%), physician’s confidence in care (33%), patient/family satisfaction (17%), disposition decisions (8%), and recommended additional treatment (38%), laboratory studies (16%), and imaging (12%). For 57% of encounters with missing information, physicians perceived an adverse effect on overall quality of care. Missing information was associated with not having a primary care visit at TCH within 12 months of the encounter, (OR 2.8; 95% CI, 1.7, 4.5).
Conclusion: Pediatric physicians more commonly experience missing information at general ambulatory visits than emergency visits and report that missing information adversely impacts quality, efficiency, their confidence in care, patient and family satisfaction, and leads to potentially redundant resource utilization.
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