Keeping a record of anything is good because we have the habit to forget things. Going to a shop and buying some grocery, and if the shopkeeper accidentally forgets to give back the correct amount of money. We can use the receipt given to us to claim the remaining money. This reveals the importance of documentation of how it helps to keep things simpler and easier for us.
Importance of documentation in research
We, as humans, have been doing researches since the beginning of time. Much later after the invention of paper, we started keeping track of the things that we discovered since the advent of humans. Using the ancestor’s work as the basis, we have made huge progress with time.
Documentation helps the researcher learner pass on the experience so that the people after them do not spend the same time, exploring what is already explored. The new researcher will continue where the previous ones left, making the process of research faster. In the case of documentation, even failures can help to achieve a lot of things.
One of the best examples is the concept of alchemy, where some people thought that through the synthesis of copper, tin and other such low metals one can make higher metals like gold and silver. It was widely believe that the process as possible, one only needs to research enough to figure out the procedure. Alchemists spend years trying to convert copper to gold while they kept documenting their attempts. They failed in making gold, but they discovered many other processes that served as the basis of chemistry.
These processes to date used in chemical labs, which made many cutting-edge changes in the world we live in. It can be easily understand from this example, that the importance of documentation cannot be ignore. Documentation always helps you achieve your goals, even when the apparent result seems to be failures but in the long run, it always proves to be fruitful. Research is always better with documentation; it makes it easier for the researcher to not make the mistakes that were make earlier. Learning from the earlier shortcomings through the documentation, the researcher can make better attempts in the next experiments.
Importance of documentation in the healthcare
Hospitals need to maintain the records of the patients that come to get treatment in a hospital. Hundreds of patients come every day to the hospital. Treating the all at once is an impossible task. Documentation becomes important in this scenario as the intensity of problems varies from person to person. For example, if a person is bleeding then that person would be sent right away to the emergency. On the other hand, if a person has a mild headache that person, they simply need medicine for headaches. There is a huge spectrum of problems that patients have when they visit the hospital. The treatment does not always finish in one day, they need to follow-up appointments with the doctors if the problem remains for a while.
Managing records is important for keeping track of the problems of the patients. A single person can’t memorize patients and problems over weeks, and it becomes an insurmountable task when countless patients are coming one after the other. Documentation is necessary to keep proper track as do not want approximations or ideas of what was the problem. We need to have an accurate description of the problem the patient had that day. Then using that information, the doctor will analyze the patient on the follow-up appointment. Through, the documentation of every visits the doctor will be able to know whether the treatment is working or not.
If it is working, then applying the prescribed procedure to patients with similar problems can be fruitful. While on the other hand, if it isn’t working then the procedure needs changes which might involve the prescription of different medicines and different diet plan. Documentation is of vital importance in healthcare, as the whole healthcare system would collapse if there is no record management. It would not be possible to keep track of patients, as people might have the same names, same diseases or some other similar attribute which might confuse the doctors. To prevent such a situation from arising, we need to document the detail of everyone separately.
Importance of documentation in project management
Just like the importance of documentation in research, documentation also has its value in project management. For any project, there always needs to be a proper approach to how to achieve the desired objective. First, the members need to sit down to discuss the features of the project. After listing all the features, major ones are prioritize over the other ones. Afterward, the creation of the project frame is decide by reviewing similarly structured projects. Among all proposed frames, the suitable frame is select for depending upon the scale of the aimed goal. The budget for the whole project must be keep in mind.
Throughout this whole process, documentation needs to be made at every step that is taken along the planning of the project. Documentation helps the members of the projects to know the extent of the project and their roles in the processes at hand. Through documentation, the usage of the resources in the project are constantly monitor. It becomes easier to track how much money was spend on a certain part of the project. It will also help the project managers approximate how much more they will be needing for the completion of the project.
Documentation keeps the check on everyone involved in the project. Accountability becomes easier with proper documentation. It becomes easier for the administration to decide which people need promotion and which people are lacking in their work on their assigned post. Projects with proper documentation are much more successful than those which are poorly documented. When there is no proper documentation, there is no possible way to understand the hierarchy of the project. Not recording the flow of information would mean that there is no system of accountability and the misuse of resources might cause the administration to go bankrupt.
Not only in these areas, but documentation is also a healthy way to keep track of things in our lives. If we make a chart about what objectives we have for the current week or month, it will help us keep track of our progress. It will give us the motivation to work toward our goals. Documentation keeps us in touch with the facts of the situation and helps us face the reality of the situation.
Every department in every discipline needs to document what is happening in their environment. Only then will they be able to assess their performance and make amendments in their system to increase their productivity. Failure to maintain documentation might result in a loss for companies and it might cause them to lose investments and their sponsors. Documentation should be the core of any activity if one wants to improve the activity.