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Clin Med (Lond). 2003 Jul-Aug;3(4):329-32.

Standards in medical record keeping.

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Health Informatics Unit, Royal College of Physicians, London.


Medical records serve many functions but their primary purpose is to support patient care. The RCP Health Informatics Unit (HIU) has found variability in the quality of records and discharge summaries in England and Wales. There is currently a major drive to computerise medical records across the NHS, but without improvement in the quality of paper records the full benefits of computerisation are unlikely to be realised. The onus for improving records lies with individual health professionals. Structuring the record can bring direct benefits to patients by improving patient outcomes and doctors' performance. The HIU has reviewed the literature and is developing evidence-based standards for record keeping including the structure of the record. The first draft of these standards has been released for consultation purposes. This article is the first of a series that will describe the standards, and the evidence behind them.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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