It is that time of year when most of the country sets its clocks back one hour in order to provide more daylight for itself during working hours.
It is also that time of the year when those who with clipboards who audit hospitals are on heightened alert for those practicing clinicians who dare not make clear their orders during said time change.
You see, it is possible that a patient could be registered at 1:45 AM on November 7, 2010, but that the same patient’s orders could be timed at 1:05 AM on November 7, 2010 and that the patient could be discharged at 1:30 AM on November 7, 2010, which, on paper, appears as if the patient was discharged before the patient arrived.
Because such notations could make the heads of clipboard auditors explode, this trickery must represent a de facto patient safety issue and would require the involved clinician and/or hospital to create an action plan on how to prevent such unsafe practices in the future.
Document carefully, dear friends. Document carefully.
Hospitals in Arizona and Hawaii are lucky enough to have dodged this bullet since those two states do not follow Daylight Savings Time.