Computerized tracking decreases “rounding up or down” in recording times

From the European Journal of Emergency Medicine, via PubMed:

The impact of a computerised whiteboard system on digit preference bias in the recording of emergency department process times.

OBJECTIVEDigit preference bias has previously been described in a number of different clinical settings including the emergency department. This study aimed to assess whether the implementation of a computerised recording system affects the digit preference bias in recording of times of arrival, assessment and departure at an emergency department.

METHODS: A preintervention/postintervention study was undertaken in a type 1 district general hospital emergency department that receives approximately 70 000 attendances per annum. Consecutive 8-week samples were taken before and after the introduction of an electronic whiteboard/patient tracking system. Timings of arrival, nursing and medical assessment and departure were compared.

RESULTS: Twelve thousand four hundred and ninety-three patients presented during the 8-week control period and 11 758 patients presented in the 8-week period after the introduction of electronic data capturing. Within the control group, over 80% of the nursing assessment (82.7%), medical examination (92.5%) and departure times (92.7%) ended in ’0′ or ’5′, compared with just over 20% after electronic recordings (22.0, 21.7 and 21.8% respectively).

CONCLUSION: The introduction of the patient tracking system eliminated the digit preference bias found in recording of the time of nursing assessment, examination and departure that was present in the preintervention data.

Shopping in Scrubs: OK or Not? Physicians Are Talking

From Medscape Today:

Are scrubs only for the operating room, or are they appropriate for everyday use? Should they be worn to the supermarket or a school board meeting? A recent discussion on Medscape’s Physician Connect (MPC), an all-physician discussion group, brought out some strong opinions on where scrubs are appropriate and where they are not — and on what motivates those who wear them in public.

An emergency medicine doctor kicked things off with an eloquent rant: “Is it just me, or is anyone else upset seeing staff wearing scrubs to go shopping? Yesterday, I saw a woman at the supermarket wearing scrubs and her white lab coat on top. Won’t this behavior give the public the impression that scrubs aren’t clean, but just a fashion statement?”

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