An audit of the accuracy of medication documentation in a United Kingdom osteopathic training clinic before and after an educational intervention

Published:January 17, 2014DOI:



      There are potential clinical consequences and medicolegal implications related to inadequacies in medication documentation in osteopathic practice but limited information about accuracy of medication recording by osteopaths or osteopathic students.


      To audit how well British School of Osteopathy (BSO) students record patient medication on case history forms, implement an educational intervention to maximise accuracy, and reassess recording, to improve patient care.


      A clinical audit cycle was conducted. Benchmark criteria were defined by distributing a questionnaire to 61 BSO clinic tutors, and an a priori optimum standard of recording accuracy was set at 75%. A retrospective audit was conducted on 100 anonymised case histories to establish baseline accuracy levels, followed by an educational intervention which included a lecture, Drugs Handbook, and Quick Reference Sheet. A second audit 7 weeks later evaluated changes in recording accuracy.


      In the pre-intervention audit only 19% of case histories recorded total accuracy scores of more than 75% (the a priori optimum standard). After intervention total percentage accuracy scores in the ‘more than 75% accurate’ group increased to 31% ( p = 0.05). The least accurately recorded aspects of medication were strength and frequency of dosage.


      The educational intervention appeared to contribute to improved accuracy of medication recording by BSO students, although some areas require further improvement. Complex barriers to obtaining full and accurate patient medication lists exist within orthodox and osteopathic healthcare practice, so ongoing audits and interventions within the BSO are recommended, as well as further research in osteopathic practice.


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