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Printable Review of Systems Template: Streamline Your Patient Evaluations

    An important first step in correctly diagnosing any patient is their medical history. This requires the healthcare provider to obtain information about the patient’s past and current conditions and other associated problems. Providers use a review of Systems (ROS) to do this.

    Physicians submit questions to the patient that cover numerous body systems. The aim is to obtain information about any symptoms, past experiences, or treatments that may be related to the current condition at issue. There are several formats for ROS questionnaires that physicians and other medical professionals commonly use.

    What is a complete review of systems?

    Review of Systems
    Review of Systems

    The complete review of systems is a comprehensive assessment of your medical history and current health status. This type of exam is typically performed by a doctor specializing in internal or family medicine. The complete review of systems may be done as part of a regular physical examination, or it may be ordered when you have symptoms that suggest an underlying health problem.

    What Is It?

    A complete review of systems is an extensive, systematic approach to examining your body for signs and symptoms of the disease. The doctor will ask about your past medical history and about any current symptoms you may have. He or she will also perform a physical examination to look for any abnormalities that might indicate a need for further testing and/or treatment.

    Why Is It Done?

    A complete review of systems is to identify any potential health problems before they become acute (severe) or chronic (long-term). A thorough history can help reveal patterns in your medical history that might point toward specific diseases or conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. The physical examination can help detect signs that suggest particular diseases, such as abnormal heart sounds or an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly).

    Why is a review of systems important?

    The review of systems is a technique used to gather information about the patient’s history and current state of health.

    Medical staff members usually conduct system reviews, but sometimes outside consultants or peer reviewers perform them. The results of a system review can be used to improve patient care and staff performance and determine whether the organization meets regulatory standards for safety and quality.

    The information collected during a system review can be used to develop goals for improvement, which may include implementing new policies or procedures, creating new programs, or making changes to existing ones. The results of these efforts will then be reviewed at future dates to ensure that they have the desired effect on patient care and staff performance.

    What systems are included in ROS?

    The fourteen important points for conducting a review of systems are as follows:

    • Aerodigestive system
    • Cardiovascular system
    • Endocrine system
    • Gastrointestinal system
    • Hematology/oncology/immunology/transfusion medicine (HOT) system
    • Infectious disease (ID) system
    • Integumentary system
    • Musculoskeletal system
    • Neurology/neurosurgery (N&NS) system
    • Psychiatric system
    • Respiratory system
    • Genitourinary system
    • Obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine (OBGYN)
    • Pulmonary System – includes asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), interstitial lung disease, and other pulmonary disorders.

    You can also use History Table or Systems Checklist if you using for patient previous visit from the following levels:

    A. History Table: At the highest level of system review, this is a list of all the systems in your patient’s history. Use this table to record the following information:

    • Last date of visit to each system

    • Condition at that time

    • Date of any procedure performed (such as biopsy)

    • Results of any test that was done at that time

    You must indicate the date of your review of the systems checklist if you refer to it in your most current notes. Without providing a date, you must provide a date to say that the ROS remains the same from the previous visit.

    B. Systems Checklist: As an alternative to a history table, you may review all systems at each visit using an abbreviated format known as a “systems checklist.” This checklist can include only those systems requiring special attention during each visit, or it can be expanded to include all systems with some chronicity or change over time. The choice is yours; be sure that all changes are recorded accordingly on your charting forms and/or templates, including notes from office visits with other providers.

    What is the main difference between HPI and ROS?

    A review of systems (ROS) is a tool that nurses can use to assess patients’ health. It’s also referred to as a “history of present illness,” “history of health,” or “chief complaint.” A ROS is a list of questions that helps nurses and doctors determine what’s happening with patients.

    A ROS aims to help identify the most important symptoms for the doctor or nurse to address first. It also helps them understand how symptoms relate to one another, so they can determine if certain conditions are causing others. A ROS should be completed at each visit, even if you are only there for lab work or another procedure.

    A history of present illness (HPI) is different from a ROS because it focuses on when symptoms began, how long they lasted, how often they occurred, and what makes them worse or better. An HPI helps doctors determine what might be causing your symptoms.

    If your doctor asks you about any recent changes in your health, this is likely an HPI rather than a ROS question.

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