Background: Communication errors are identified as a root cause contributing to a majority of sentinel events. The clinical note is a cornerstone of physician communication, yet there are few published interventions on teaching note writing in the electronic health record (EHR). This is a prospective, two-site, quality improvement project to assess and improve the quality of clinical documentation in the EHR using a validated assessment tool. Methods: Internal Medicine (IM) residents at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UK) and Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (MMC) received one of two interventions during an inpatient ward month: either a lecture, or a lecture and individual feedback on progress notes. A third group of residents in each program served as control. Notes were evaluated with the Physician Documentation Quality Instrument 9 (PDQI-9). Results: Due to a significant difference in baseline PDQI-9 scores at MMC, the sites were not combined. Of 75 residents at the UK site, 22 were eligible, 20 (91%) enrolled, 76 notes in total were scored. Of 156 residents at MMC, 22 were eligible, 18 (82%) enrolled, 40 notes in total were scored. Note quality did not improve as measured by the PDQI-9. Conclusion: This educational quality improvement project did not improve the quality of clinical documentation as measured by the PDQI-9. This project underscores the difficulty in improving note quality. Further efforts should explore more effective educational tools to improve the quality of clinical documentation in the EHR.
- Clinical documentation
- Electronic health record
- Medical education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Computer Science Applications
- Health Information Management