Patient history-taking is an essential clinical skill, with effects on diagnostic reasoning, patient-physician relationships, and more. We evaluated the impact of using a structured, timeline-based format, the Chronology of Present Illness (CPI), to guide the initial patient interaction.To determine the feasibility and impact of the CPI on the patient interview, written notes, and communication with other providers.Internal medicine residents used the CPI during a 2-week night-float rotation. For the first week, residents interviewed, documented, and presented patient histories according to their normal practices. They then attended a brief educational session describing the CPI, and were asked to use this method for new patient interviews, notes, and handoffs during the second week. Night and day teams evaluated the method using retrospective pre-post comparisons.Twenty-two internal medicine residents in their second or third postgraduate year.An educational dinner describing the format and potential benefits of using the CPI.Retrospective pre-post surveys on the efficiency, quality, and clarity of the patient interaction, written note, and verbal handoff, as well as open-ended comments. Respondents included night-float residents, day team residents, and attending physicians.All night-float residents responded, reporting significant improvements in written note, verbal sign-out, assessment and plan, patient interaction, and overall efficiency (p < 0.05). Day team residents (n = 76) also reported increased clarity in verbal sign-out and written note, improved efficiency, and improved preparedness for presenting the patient (p < 0.05). Attending physician ratings did not differ between groups.Resident ratings indicate that the CPI can improve key aspects of patient care, including the patient interview, note, and physician-physician communication. These results suggest that the method should be taught and implemented more frequently.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-016-3928-3
View details for PubMedID 27896691