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Differences between attendings' and residents' operative notes for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Wauben LS, et al. World J Surg. 2013.


BACKGROUND: Operative notes are the gold standard for detecting adverse events and near misses and form the basis for scientific research. In order to guarantee safe patient care, operative notes must be objective, complete, and accurate. This study explores the current routine of note writing for laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and the differences between the notes of attendings and residents.

METHODS: Attendings and residents were sent a DVD with footage of three LCs and were asked to "write" the corresponding notes and to complete a questionnaire. Dictation tapes were transcribed and items in the notes were analyzed for each procedure ("item described" or "item not described"). Fisher's exact tests were performed using SPSS 16.0 for Mac.

RESULTS: Thirteen sets of typewritten notes and 10 dictation tapes were returned. The results of the questionnaire showed that 16 of the 23 sets of notes were dictated. Eight participants found the current system for generating notes inadequate. 14 items (31 %) were included more often in the attendings' notes and 25 items (56 %) were included more often in the residents' notes. Overall, residents significantly more often described the location of the epigastric trocar (P = 0.018), the size of both working trocars (P = 0.019), the opening of the peritoneal envelope (P = 0.002), Critical View of Safety reached (P = 0.002), and the location for removing the gallbladder (P = 0.019). With the exception of "gallbladder perforation" (20 of 21 notes), complications were underreported.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study residents described more items than attendings. All notes lacked information concerning complications in the procedure, which makes the notes subjective and incomplete. A procedure-specific template or black-box-based operative notes based on established guidelines could improve the quality of the notes of both attendings and residents.


23604304 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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