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June 2015

When Documentation Supersedes Patient CommunicationAn Example From an Endoscopy Unit

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 2BayCare Health System, Clearwater, Florida
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(6):884-885. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.1100

A patient who underwent screening colonoscopy at our hospital made an astute observation: many of the questions that he was asked in a preprocedure assessment seemed out of place and irrelevant. Among the questions were, “Do you want to know more about your health condition?” and “Are you interested in ways to keep you healthy?” The patient asked us what we did with his answers. The truth was that the answers did not alter his care in any way. Agreeing with the patient’s sentiments, we investigated the rationale behind the questions in the preprocedure learning assessment (Table).

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