The case-notes of all patients in a district general adult psychiatric unit were assessed for standards of recording selected key items. The results were presented at a departmental audit meeting, and the assessment repeated after four months. Initial audit revealed poor standards of notekeeping in certain areas. On repeat assessment, standards of documentation had improved for all the key items assessed, and reached statistical significance for physical examination. This audit was quick, easy and cheap, revealed unexpectedly poor standards of notekeeping, and evidently produced a measurable and significant improvement in practice.
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