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Original article

Vol. 141 No. 4344 (2011)

Record keeping by Swiss physiotherapists

  • C Richoz
  • A Ayer
  • S Richoz
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2011;141:w13291


PURPOSE: A national survey conducted in Switzerland aimed to evaluate the knowledge of physiotherapists regarding the legal requirements for record keeping and to collect their feedback about record keeping in general.

METHOD: Three physiotherapists from various professional practice groups and a lawyer specialised in health law developed a questionnaire that was sent to the 7,753 members of two existing national associations of physiotherapists. The questionnaire evaluated the participants’ knowledge by calculating a score of legal knowledge, which had a maximum of 30 points.

RESULTS: We included 825 questionnaires in the analysis. The large majority (83.4%) of participants confessed an ignorance of the legal requirements concerning record keeping prior to the survey. The average score of legal compatibility was 8 points. The younger age of the physiotherapists was a significant predictor of having knowledge of the legal requirements for record keeping (p <0.001).

CONCLUSION: The participants had an appreciation of the value of records, but they did not have the relevant knowledge regarding the legal requirements for keeping records. The participants blamed a lack of time and remuneration for their failure to keep records according to known requirements.

RECOMMENDATION: All practising allied health professionals should keep up-to-date and accurate records that conform to active legal requirements and existing international guidelines. In addition to the existing legal requirements, the emergence of e-health and the electronic era will trigger major changes in patient record management by physiotherapists.


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