Objective: To measure whether the addition of a BMI chart to a patient's medical record at the time of the office visit would increase the likelihood of a physician discussing weight management with the patient.
Methods: Office staff were instructed to place a BMI chart on the front of medical charts of all patients aged 21 years to 65 years who were seen during a 2-month period in two urban university-affiliated clinics. The staff were to plot the BMI on the chart. The medical records were audited for the presence of the BMI chart and any documentation of a discussion of weight management.
Results: Of the 961 charts that were audited, 44% contained the BMI chart. A discussion of weight management issues was documented in 19% of those that contained a BMI chart and in 15% of those that did not contain a BMI chart.
Conclusions: Data presented here suggest that adding a BMI chart to the patient medical record may increase the attention of a physician to weight management issues.