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Title Missing Prenatal Records at a Birth Center: A Communication Problem Quantified
Author(s) Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD, John D. Yeast, MD, MSPH, Robin L. Evans, BSN, RN
Source AMIA 2005 Symposium Proceedings, Pages 535-539
Publisher Omnipress
Publication Date Nov. 2005
Abstract Objectives: To quantify the extent of missing prenatal records at the time of patient presentation to a birth center, to document the age of the information in those records, and to discover how quickly missing records were retrieved. Method: A survey form was completed over a threemonth period for each patient presenting for care. Results: Prenatal records were unavailable 37% of the time at initial presentation. Records were never obtained for 20% of patients. The median age of the prenatal record was 30 days for those records that were immediately available, and the median age was 5 days for those records that were retrieved later. It took a median of 1.4 hours to retrieve a missing record. Conclusion: Prenatal records are frequently missing at the point-of-care, and even when records are available or retrieved, the information contained within them is likely to be outdated. Further research is needed to quantify both the clinical and economic impact of this problem.

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