Improving Nursing Care Documentation in Emergency Department: A Participatory Action Research Study in Iran
BACKGROUND: Standardization of documentation has enabled the use of medical records as a primary tool for evaluating health care functions and obtaining appropriate credit points for medical centres. However, previous studies have shown that the quality of medical records in emergency departments is unsatisfactory.
AIM: The aim of this study was improving the nursing care documentation in an emergency department, in Iran.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This collaborative action research study was carried out in two phases to improve nursing care documentation in cooperation with individuals involved in the process, from February 2015 to December 2017 in an affiliated academic hospital in Iran. The first phase featured virtual training, an educational workshop, and improvements to the hospital information system. The second phase involved the recruitment of human resources, the implementation of continuous codified training, the establishment of an appropriate reward and penalty system, and the review of patient education forms.
RESULTS: The interventions improved nursing documentation quality score of 73.20%, which was the highest accreditation ranking provided by Iranâ€™s Ministry of Health and Medical Education in 2017. In other words, this study caused a 32% improvement in the quality of nursing care documentation in the hospital.CONCLUSION: The appropriate practices for improving nursing care documentation are employee participation, managerial accountability, nursesâ€™ adherence to documentation standards, improved leadership style, and continuous monitoring and control.
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