Kardexes - - Are They Out Of Date?? Do You Use Them In Your Facility??

Nurses General Nursing


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1 Post

Hi everyone

I am a brand new RN. Before report we use the Kardex to organize our brain sheets for the shift we also take info from report on them. Is it a good idea

to just make a photo copy of the Kardex and on the bottom half of the paper

record meds to be given, history, Blood sugars, assesments etc. I usually have an average of 8 patients so this would be 4 sheets if i staple them back.

One more question as long as i do not take this information off hospital grounds is it legal to make a photocopy of the Kardex. Ive tried using the printed sheet and ive even tried to make up my own brain sheet and im not liking either. I feel that maybe this idea will help me as a new nurse. I believe that it will help me to focus on the paient as a whole and in general it will be alot easier to follow. Has anyone out there done anyting simialr. I hope to in the future graduate to a smaller brain sheet but for now i just need a little more info.

thanks for your opinions this website is great



350 Posts

Specializes in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor.

my hospital on my floor has a printable report sheet that the nurses update or suppose to every shift which we all use for report. It has the pt's name, dx, treatments. But our actual kardex is a paper that has all the labs, what tests are done a more organized why of all the care performed. The secretary when they remove orders puts the info on the kardex. So it does bring together all the treatments on this one peice of paper.

HOWEVER, it is suppose to be updated and what my coworkers who relie on this kardex don't realize it is not a legal part of the chart. Sometimes info is transcribed wrong. We have computerized labs and testing so I allways like to see the most current things so I make it a step to look up labs, testings, and orders for the am right on the computer. We have the printable report sheet which I print out every day and write this info right on the sheet and give it in report. And if I know the pts I can write less. My preceptor actually taught me to do with out kardexs. I know of many nurses who would sign off orders on our charts as completed when they just looked at the kardex and was not put on the computer. I also do not like haveing like 10 sheets of paper hanging around with me (believe me as a student I'd have 4 on just one pt!). I use the one report sheet and it's back for info.

Report sheet is set up in a spreadsheet/database format on the computer you can print out every shift. It has: Pt name, age, dx, admission date, dnr or not, md, vs, labs, poc, treatments/teaching, o2, activity, drains. and I try to ad stuff in my own format in conjunciton with these. Ex. consulting mds put right under the pri md, output and how a person ambulates under the activity section ect. This paper keeps me organized. It can be a little small and i get frustrated with that but i like one peice of paper. I write in different color pens. But it is my "brain" and hence if i loose it or misplace it I FREAK b/c EVERYTHING is on it! ONe time I was helping a coworkers pt back into bed and my paper fell under her and I couldn't get it b/c the family was upset with something and was getting annoyed at me so i left it! My coworked handed it to me 2 hours later.

My thing is why bother looking it up on the computer AND looking on the kardex. I feel it's a waste of time. It can organize some people but then you may disregard the computer and that is more current. If a pt is there for months then the kardex is a mess b/c you have to erase some spots and put new stuff elsewhere it's way too confusing.

I can see how the kardex my direct you on the entire pt but you can do it right on the computer or chart itself and be more accurate seeing the info first hand.

Honestly, I hate kardexs and is a waste of time. Maybe if people looked it up on the chart itself or computer I wouldn't be calling a doctor at 6-7pm asking what they want to do with a low lab level!

suzy253, RN

3,815 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

Still using them...


423 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological Nursing, Acute Rehab.
We totally still use kardex's. Each pt has a kardex that has their diagnosis, diet, allergies, precautions, medical history, IVF ordered, weightbearing restrictions, lab orders, therapy instructions, etc on it. Each order that comes in for a pt is added to the kardex in pencil, except for meds, which are just entered into the computer chart. These are constantly being updated, and double checked on every order by 2 people to make sure that each order is added to the kardex. Old or outdated orders, especially on people who have been admitted for awhile, get erased, and sometimes we fill out a whole new kardex once one gets totally trashed by lots of erasing and rewriting of orders. When a pt goes to OR, they get a new kardex when they return with new orders. For report each shift, the nurse coming in gets the kardex for each of their patients and writes down the info on their 'brain', then goes out for verbal report from the nurse on the previous shift.

This is how we use them at my hospital, too. They are usually kept up to date, and I always use it to give and get report. I actually kinda like having them around, but I only work weekends so I depend on them alot.

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