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Pain assessments and the provision of analgesia: the effects of a templated chart
Emergency Medicine Publications and Presentations
  • Brigitte M. Baumann, Cooper University Hospital
  • John H. Holmes, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Michael E. Chansky, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Helen Levey, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Miriam Kulkarni, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Edwin D. Boudreaux, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Emergency Medicine
Publication Date
Document Type
Adult; Analgesia; Documentation; Emergency Service, Hospital; Female; Humans; Male; *Medical Records; Pain; *Pain Measurement; Retrospective Studies
OBJECTIVES: Many emergency departments (EDs) have incorporated pain assessment scales in the medical record to improve compliance with the requirements of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The authors conducted a pre-post trial investigating the effects of introducing a templated chart on the documentation of pain assessments and the provision of analgesia to ED patients. METHODS: A total of 2,379 charts were reviewed for inclusion based on the presence of a chief complaint related to trauma or nontraumatic pain, with 1,242 charts included in the analysis. RESULTS: Baseline demographic characteristics, mechanism of injury, location of injury, and initial pain severity were similar in the two groups. The proportion of patients with documentation of pain assessment increased from 41% to 57% (p < 0.001). In particular, traumatic mechanisms and chest, abdominal, and extremity pain yielded the largest improvements in documentation after introduction of the templated charts. Documentation of pain descriptors also improved for time of onset, duration, timing, and context (p < 0.01). Pain control in the templated chart group, however, remained unchanged and the provision of analgesia in the ED was not altered, with the exception of nonsteroidal medications, which decreased from 46% to 36% (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Although documentation is improved with a templated chart, this improvement did not translate into improved patient care.
DOI of Published Version
Acad Emerg Med. 2007 Jan;14(1):47-52. Epub 2006 Nov 10. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Brigitte M. Baumann, John H. Holmes, Michael E. Chansky, Helen Levey, et al.. "Pain assessments and the provision of analgesia: the effects of a templated chart" Vol. 14 Iss. 1 (2007) ISSN: 1069-6563 (Linking)
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