Background: Incomplete filling of Investigation Request Forms (IRF) by medical doctors is a common problem leading to pre-analytical errors and wrong interpretation of investigation results. Computers have been employed to alleviate the problem of incomplete filling of IRF in developed nations while the developing countries are still struggling with a lot of paper work. A good knowledge of the medical doctors’ reasons for non-complete filling of IRF may be the first step in solving these problems. This study was designed to determine the reasons behind the incomplete filling of IRF by medical doctors in Rivers State.
Materials and Methods: This was a semi-structured, self-administered questionnaires-based descriptive survey conducted among consented medical doctors using hardcopy version of the questionnaire-based. The completed questionnaires were retrieved immediately and data generated in this study were collected using data proforma, and processed using SPSS version 21 (SPSS Inc., ILL, USA, 2003). The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (tables, frequencies, percentages and bar chart).
Result: Out of 88 respondents, the greater proportion 44.3% (n=39) of the respondents perceived inadequate time to complete the IRF as their reason for inability to incomplete filling of the IRF. Greater proportion 97.7% (n=86) of the respondents agreed that medical doctors should be trained and re-trained on complete filling of the IRF. The effect of an incomplete filling of IRF according to respondents include but not limited to; misinterpretation of results (n=60), delay in carrying out the investigation (n=86) and giving results to wrong patients (n=88).
Conclusion: The commonest reason for incomplete filling of the IRF was inadequate time as there was usually much information to be filled. Interventions could result in a reduction of the errors and problems often created by incomplete filling of IRFs.
W Wonodi, ID Jaja, MP Ogolodom, AN Mbaba, N Alazigha, TC Uzosike, AA Alali and E Omita