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Health Serv Res. 1982 Spring; 17(1): 5–26.
PMCID: PMC1068659

The utility for audit of manual and computerized problem-oriented medical record systems.


Objective assessment of the delivery of care requires an unambiguous record of all related events and decisions in the care process. Both the handwritten Problem-Oriented Medical Record (POMR) and its computerized successor, the Problem Oriented Medical Information System (PROMIS) have been designed to facilitate audit of care delivery. In this study, a national sample of physicians was asked to determine which of these two record systems best serves the function of audit. The study involves assessment of a sample of 69 matched pairs of patient records drawn from two different ward settings, one of which used the manual POMR, the other, PROMIS. No difference was perceived between the two records with respect to the reliability of information or the analytical reasoning of providers. Information in PROMIS records was judged to be slightly more thorough. The format of the manual record was judged better on the basis of conciseness, accessibility, and organization of record information.

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