The cost of auditing outpatient records.
When patient records are to be auditied in a program designed to assess the quality of medical care rendered, careful consideration must be given to the cost of the system implemented. Structured data collection and a defined treatment plan are advantageous in facilitating the use of nonphysicians for the majority of the audit. A system using checklists to ensure adequate recording of subjective and objective data and a defined treatment plan for a common symptom complex were implemented by physicians and physician's assistants with a patient load averaging more than 1,000 patient contacts per week in a general medical clinic at Duke University Medical Center. Audit was subsequently accomplished at a cost of 96 cents per record. To reduce this cost, more efficient methods of selecting records for audit should be developed.
Ahlers, P; Sullivan, RJ; Hammond, WE; Walter, EL; Tolley, HD
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