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Results of an Audit of Orthopaedic Operation Notes from a Tertiary Care Centre: Are We Doing It Right and Can We Do More?

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The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) published the Good Surgical Practice guidelines in 2008 and subsequently revised them in 2014. Essentially, they outline the basic standards that need to be met by all surgical operation notes. The objective of the present study was to retrospectively audit the orthopaedic operation notes from a tertiary care hospital in Mumbai (between October 2020 to March 2021) against the recommended RCS Good Surgical Practice guidelines published in 2014.


In the present study a total of 153 orthopaedic operation notes of 200 patients were audited by a single reviewer. During the period between October 2020 and March 2021, the data collection took place. All notes were typed on the standard operative proforma available on the hospital patient management software (SAP).


Overall, the mandated fields in the EMR had excellent documentation. Documentation was excellent for the date and time of surgery, name of the surgeon, the procedure performed (100%), operative diagnosis (99.35%), an extra procedure performed (100%), and details of antibiotic prophylaxis (99.35); Inadequate for details of incision (94.77%), details of operative findings (92.16%), details of prosthesis (97.37%), DVT prophylaxis (96.08%) and detailed post-operative instructions (93.46%) and poor for tourniquet time (41.83%;), estimated blood loss (59.48%), closure details (16.99%), documentation of complications or lack of (51.63%) and setting of surgery elective or emergency (0%).


Compliance for completion and documentation of operative procedures was high in some areas; improvement is needed in documenting tourniquet time, prosthesis and incision details, and the location of operative diagnosis and postoperative instructions. With wider adoption of electronic medical record systems, there is a scope of improving documentation by mandating certain fields.

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Correspondence to Vaibhav Bagaria.

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Tuteja, S., Tiwari, A., Bhanushali, J. et al. Results of an Audit of Orthopaedic Operation Notes from a Tertiary Care Centre: Are We Doing It Right and Can We Do More?. JOIO 56, 2223–2227 (2022).

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