Completeness of prescription recording in outpatient medical records from a health maintenance organization
Since validity of drug data is often characterized by the agreement between questionnaire and medical record data, medical record completeness for drug therapy was evaluated. Outpatient medical records of 501 randomly selected Group Health Cooperative Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) participants known to have been dispensed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) were reviewed for completeness. Documentation was also evaluated for indication, age, gender, location of visit, and number of visits. The NSAID was recorded in 89% of the charts reviewed. Charts with a vague/missing diagnosis were more likely to lack documentation [RR (95% CI): 20.0 (13.2–30.3)]. The data suggested that poorer documentation was related to older age [1.5 (0.9-2.5)] but not to gender, indication, location of visit, or number of visits. Presence of an indication was positively correlated to the completeness of drug documentation. According to this staff/group HMO, there may be a higher concordance between self-reported medication use and medical record data than found in previous literature.