The agencies that I worked for had time frames when the copies of the documentation were required to be in the office, typically 48 hrs after the visit. The field chart copy, (if there was one, one agency had one hard copy only), supposedly, was to be left in the field chart at the end of the visit. I was instructed by my preceptor during my home health rotation in school, that all charting, except for notes to self, should be done outside the home. I am aware of, and tell my clients, that the field chart copy is not necessarily the "final say", as we are always under the onus of being called in to our offices to complete and/or correct our documentation. One RN told me specifically that she was making copies of the charting for the clients for their personal use (they like to sue) at their request. Since clients have the opportunity to copy as well as read our charting, that is one of the reasons why I inform them that the field chart copy is not necessarily the "final" copy. I also inform them about the ownership of the field chart, as this issue has come up many times. It is now even stickier with new emphasis on HIPAA.
I have found some nurses remove all their documentation or don't put it into the field chart until just before the monthly supervisor visit. This is because they never get their charting done on time or else they literally do not want other nurses to have access to what they chart for their shifts. When I was being oriented one morning, we got a surprise call that the supervisor was coming, my nurse orienting me, dropped everything, (luckily we didn't have anything due for the pt at that time) and proceeded to write 6 days worth of notes in fear that the supervisor would notice that her charting was not in the field chart. I say, to each his own. I have worked 7 days a week, mulitiple shifts for more than one employer; I could not get away with that behavior. I read all charting by my colleagues. That is how I find out things that are not reported to me. If it isn't there, I notice it. Do I tell the supervisor? Only if a situation comes up where she corners me and I have no choice. The field chart is in the home for a purpose. If it is incomplete, then it doesn't serve the purpose for which it is left in the home.