Volume 1, 2015
|Number of page(s)
|02 November 2015
The TONK score: a tool for assessing quality in trauma and orthopaedic note-keeping
Department of Trauma & Orthopaedics, Rehman Medical Institute, Peshawar, Pakistan
2 Northern Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals NHS Trust, Scunthorpe General Hospital, Cliff Gardens, Scunthorpe, DN15 7BH, UK
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 2 September 2015
Introduction: Medical case notes are the only lasting interpretation of a patient-physician interaction and are important for good quality patient care. Accurate, legible and contemporaneous note-keeping is important however it can be substandard. This can lead to errors in handover of patients and to medicolegal vulnerability. We present a comprehensive auditing tool for Trauma & Orthopaedics medical case notes and our experience in using it over the last 12 months.
Patients and Methods: The TONK score was developed from a pre-existing system with some additions for Trauma & Orthopaedic case notes, with the incorporation of a legibility scoring system. An initial audit was carried out evaluating the case notes for each team against the TONK score. In order to evaluate the reproducibility of this score, we employed the Cohen’s Kappa coefficient and noted substantial agreement. The individual team scores were analysed and the audit cycle completed four months later with the provision of feedback.
Results: Our first audit revealed a mean of 81 with a range from 70 to 90. Subsequent audits over the next two quarters revealed mean scores in excess of 90. Significant improvement has been noted in all areas of documentation and it has been decided to conduct this audit every six months in our department.
Conclusions: The TONK score is an easy, quick and reproducible tool, which aims to eliminate the weaknesses in Trauma & Orthopaedic medical note-keeping. It emphasises the medicolegal importance of accurate medical note-keeping to doctors at all levels of training.
Key words: Quality / Note-keeping / Audit / Legibility
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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