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Invited Critique |

Synoptic Operative Reports:  Comment on “The Computerized Synoptic Operative Report”

William P. Schecter, MD
Arch Surg. 2012;147(1):74-75. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.222.
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The study by Gur et al1 compared dictated operative reports by attending surgeons with synoptic operative reports generated by junior and senior residents for 57 breast procedures. The authors concluded that synoptic reports, generated from preselected data points in drop-down menus, are superior both for inclusion of the preselected data points and for resident education.

Gur et al1 clearly demonstrated the superiority of the synoptic report for inclusion of preselected data points. Some of the data points were demographic, easily retrievable from other parts of the electronic record. Others, like nipple and skin excision, may have been omitted by the attending surgeons because they were clearly not part of the operation (eg, lumpectomy). Had the attending surgeons known the preselected data points, they probably would have included them in the report.

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