In the narrative section of my nurses notes, is it a good or bad idea to write, “Will follow up with patient during next scheduled home visit and as needed?” Depending if I am out sick or my agency sends me to cover a different county, sometimes I am not the nurse who does the next follow-up visit. Although it shows my intention to follow up, some nurses have told me it is not a good idea to write that.
Generally, a note to follow up with a patient in the home care setting is a good idea. Such documentation indicates a need to do so, whether at the next scheduled visit or as needed. However, since it sounds as though you don’t always have the same patients to see on a regular visit, you might want to make the notation but not for you alone.
As an example, documenting “Recommend follow-up with patient during next scheduled home visit or as needed” tells any reader — you or one of your nurse colleagues — that your assessment for the follow-up was identified and recorded. It would then be up to you, or one of your colleagues, to ensure the follow-up was done.
This assumes the nurse who does the next visit (if you don’t) reads your note before visiting the patient. This is always a good idea, whether the patient is one you see regularly or one who is seen by another nurse. Neither one of you should miss what needs to be done when a home visit is carried out.