The Kardex is a nursing tool, not a chart document. The Kardex is traditionally a "synopsis" of all the patient's orders that the doctors and nurses have written. In the "old" days they were 5 x 7 cards kept in a rand at the nursing station. One card for each patient. We kept them in pencil so they could be changed. As doctors wrote orders, these orders were written on the Kardex card for the patient. There were sections for the diet, labs, x-rays, treatments and medications. Medications were listed as line items (Tylenol 650mg q4h prn or Cimetidine 400mg QID). We also had a section for the care plan (this was really in the old days before nursing diagnosis). The nurses could add a few things that pertained to customized equipment that might have been ordered by the nurses for the patient. By and large, however, the Kardex was, as I said, a synopsis, an abridged version, of everything ordered and being done for the patient. This was so we didn't have to continually pull the chart to search for orders. Half the time the chart was being used by someone else anyway and we couldn't get our hands on it, so these Kardexes had a very functional and practical purpose. Report could be done from it. It helps remind you to check up on tests that were supposed to have been done. You can chart from it because it helps you remember what important things to chart about. When the patient was discharged, the Kardex card was destroyed.
In today's world the Kardex "card" has evolved into a computer generated sheet of paper. However, it is still serving the same purpose. It is a synopsis of the nursing and medical orders and the nurses have the option of adding some notes to it. This, however, does not make it an official part of the patient's medical record. It is still only a tool that is discarded when the patient is discharged.