OBJECTIVE - To investigate the impact of a computer-based documentation (CBD) tool on parent and physician satisfaction with a pediatric health maintenance encounter.
DESIGN - The project used a preintervention and postintervention design. The preintervention group visits used paper-based forms for data entry, whereas the postintervention visits used CBD. At the conclusion of each encounter, both the physician and the parent completed a survey that assessed their perceptions of the encounter's quality.
SETTING - Urban hospital-based pediatric teaching clinic.
PARTICIPANTS - Parents and physicians of children 18 months and younger.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Parent and physician satisfaction with 7 components of a health maintenance encounter (interim history, social history, anticipatory guidance, developmental assessment, physical examination, assessment, and plan).
RESULTS - There was no change in overall parent or physician satisfaction in the areas of communication or physician helpfulness. Physicians using CBD were less likely to agree that they provided clear explanations but were also less likely to agree that they "acted bossy during the visit." There was no correlation between physician and parent satisfaction or between physician satisfaction and pattern of CBD use. However, there was a strong correlation between physicians' satisfaction and the extent to which they found CBD helpful (Spearman rho = 0.29, P<.001).
CONCLUSIONS - The introduction of CBD into the health maintenance encounter did not affect measured aspects of parent or physician satisfaction; these results support its continued use in that setting.