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Introducing a post-operative proforma for elective lower limb arthroplasty patients – improving patient care and junior doctor confidence
  1. James Olivier,
  2. Michael Stoddart,
  3. Katie Miller,
  4. Robbie McLintock,
  5. Mark Dahill
  1. Royal United Hospital Bath


The assessment of post-operative patients is vital to identify early complications and ensure patient safety. Good clinical record keeping is essential for effective continuity of care and patient safety in the post-operative period. A group of foundation year 2 (FY2) doctors noted a disparity in levels of confidence and ability in performing this assessment.

The aim of the project was to improve documentation and understanding of day one lower limb arthroplasty reviews by FY2 doctors.

The Plan-Do-Study-Act model for continuous improvement was adopted from September 2015 to July 2016. A composite score comprising the twelve most important review parameters for documentation was used to score the quality of documentation on an ongoing basis. An electronic survey was completed by every FY2 rotating through the department. Interventions included registrar-led teaching sessions and an integrated review form placed in the medical notes. Further iterations of the proforma and further interventions were coordinated with the ward clerks, sisters, physiotherapists and senior clinicians.

The baseline mean composite score was 6.3/12. Following implementation of a standardised proforma this score improved to 10.5 in those who had used the proforma, but 5.7 in those who hadn't. Electronic survey responses showed the proforma and teaching were effective in improving knowledge and understanding of post-operative reviews.

The use of an integrated proforma in the medical notes and teaching it's use at induction, improves the documentation and understanding of day one post-operative reviews. Coordinating ward-based change across a cohort of FY2s, with involvement from the multidisciplinary team and management, affects sustained improvements in patient reviews.

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