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Are care plans the best way of documenting care?

  • Comments (2)

Are care plans the best way of documenting care? What do you think?


It is a NMC requirement to have a documented plan of care.

Nursing care plans are, generally, the accepted way to record a patients plan of care. When completed accurately and individualised they can be an effective document.

However, in practice they do not always provide a relevant, individualised and up-to-date plan of care for patients. We need to ask whether this is due to the document itself or the standard of documentation when completing the care plan.

Lisa Magill is Practice Development Nurse, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre.

  • Comments (2)

Readers' comments (2)

  • michael stone

    Care 'planning' is a good way of introducing clarity of objectives, before something happens - but any plan needs to capable of rapid adaption to new, or unanticipated, circumstances.

    Post-treatment records of what was actually done, and what actually happened, are the definitive 'document of care' because a plan is a prediction !

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  • Anonymous

    Any care plan or plan of care is only as good/effective as the person/people writing it. The care is exactly the same - only as good as those carrying it out. Brief, accurate, and succinct for the care plan is better than waffly and a waste of precious time; and quality for the care can be better than quantity. I have read care plans that on the face of it looks very professional and impressive but on closer inspection resembles nothing to the person in the bed; but equally I have read ones that have missed many of the crucial indicators because it is just thrown together. Cut to the chase (or find a happy medium) is my motto here (without cutting corners).

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