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Med Educ. 1993 Nov;27(6):518-23.

Inadequate recording of alcohol-drinking, tobacco-smoking and discharge diagnosis in medical in-patients: failure to recognize risks including drug interactions.

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1
University Department of Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia.

Abstract

The records of 62 men and 43 women, 14-88 years old, admitted to general medical wards in a public teaching hospital during 1991 were examined for discharge medications and for the recording of alcohol-drinking, tobacco-smoking and discharge diagnosis. Drinking and smoking status was unrecorded in 22.9% and 21.9% of patients respectively. Twenty-four patients had 31 potential drug interactions which were related to the number of drugs prescribed and to drinking alcohol; 10.5% of the patients had interactions involving alcohol and 2.9% tobacco. Six patients received relatively or absolutely contraindicated drugs, including one asthmatic given two beta-blockers. The drugs prescribed indicated that some patients had conditions such as gastro-oesophageal disorders, diabetes and obstructive airways disease which had not been recorded. Inadequate recording of diagnoses, alcohol and smoking status creates risks to patients and may cause opportunities for preventive care to be missed. This study provides the basis for the development of undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes to address these issues and so decrease risks to patients which arise from inadequate recording practices. Incomplete diagnoses also adversely affect hospital funding where this depends on case-mix diagnostic groups. Quality assurance programmes and other strategies are being implemented to improve medical recording and prescribing habits.

PMID:
8208160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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