WASHINGTON, D.C. – In news that can be mistaken for nothing less than a bombshell on Capitol Hill, former FBI Director James Comey released an opening statement to the public yesterday, which health care professionals are calling either “the worst history and physical ever written” or “one terribly long SOAP note.”
“Look at this,” said Dr. Chris Auerbach, an internal medicine physician at George Washington University Hospital, flipping through the document that doesn’t even have a signature or pager number. “There is no chief complaint, no HPI, no social history, family history, or review of systems. There are no vitals, physical exam, or labs. There isn’t even an assessment and plan. This is quite possibly the worst history and physical ever written in medical history.”
“Even if it’s a SOAP note, it doesn’t even follow the SOAP format,” explained Dr. Dan Stapleton, infectious diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University. “Plus it’s 7 pages long. I don’t even write 7-page soap notes, and I’m with ID for crying out loud!”
Health care documentation experts are considering all possibilities. One idea that this was a nursing note was shot down because there is no mention of a respiratory rate of 16 and it is not written in CAPS LOCK. Another theory that this was a discharge summary may be more plausible. However, the counterargument is this document is too wordy to be a discharge summary.
“Typically, discharge summaries are inversely proportional to the length of stay,” said discharge summary expert Dr. Julius Caesar of Rome University Specialty Hospital (RUSH) in Rome, GA. “Comey’s document covers a 4-month period. If this were a discharge summary, Comey’s document should be no longer than one sentence tops.”