Admission Note – How to Write (with Example)

An admission note serves as a critical component of a patient’s medical record, detailing their current status, the rationale for inpatient care at a hospital or medical facility, and the preliminary care plan. It is essential for this note to encompass all relevant information, paving the way for improved patient outcomes during their stay.


To ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness, utilizing a sample note as a guide can prove invaluable. This approach simplifies the process, promotes clarity, and minimizes the risk of overlooking crucial details or introducing misleading information, ultimately enhancing the quality of patient care.

The Significance of Admission Notes in Patient Care

  • Enhancing Communication Among Healthcare Providers. Admission notes play a vital role in fostering clear communication among healthcare professionals, ensuring that all members of the care team have access to the patient’s current status, medical history, and treatment requirements. This shared understanding supports effective collaboration and informed decision-making.
  • Facilitating Continuity of Care. By providing a comprehensive snapshot of a patient’s condition upon admission, the admission note serves as a foundation for continuous and consistent care throughout the patient’s stay. It offers healthcare providers essential information needed for appropriate treatment and monitoring.
  • Streamlining Care Transitions. As patients move between different healthcare settings, admission notes are crucial for seamless care transitions. These records provide incoming care teams with an understanding of the patient’s health status and ongoing treatment, reducing the risk of errors or delays in care.
  • Supporting Evidence-Based Treatment. A well-documented admission note allows healthcare providers to make evidence-based decisions regarding the patient’s treatment. By including pertinent information such as symptoms, diagnoses, and past medical history, the admission note ensures that the care plan is tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
  • Enhancing Patient Safety. Admission notes contribute to patient safety by reducing the likelihood of miscommunication or gaps in information. Accurate and comprehensive documentation minimizes the risk of medical errors and helps ensure that patients receive appropriate and timely care.
  • Streamlining Billing and Reimbursement Processes. Thorough admission notes not only aid in patient care but also support accurate billing and reimbursement processes. By documenting the patient’s condition, medical history, and treatment requirements, the admission note provides essential information needed for submitting insurance claims and managing hospital revenue cycles.
  • Serving as Legal Documentation. In the event of a legal dispute or malpractice claim, admission notes can serve as crucial evidence. By adhering to best practices in documentation and maintaining accurate, thorough, and timely admission notes, healthcare providers can protect themselves and their institutions from potential legal complications.
  • Promoting Quality Improvement. Admission notes can be a valuable resource in identifying patterns and trends in patient care. By analyzing this data, healthcare organizations can implement targeted quality improvement initiatives, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and fostering a culture of excellence in healthcare delivery.

Essential Elements of a Comprehensive Admission Note

A meticulously crafted admission note is vital for effective patient care, as it serves as a roadmap for healthcare providers to navigate the patient’s unique needs and circumstances. By incorporating all essential components, medical professionals can ensure that they deliver personalized, informed care throughout the patient’s hospital stay. The following points highlight the crucial components that should be included in a comprehensive admission note:

  • Patient’s Personal Information: Capture key details such as the patient’s name, age, gender, address, phone number, nationality, residence, and emergency contact information to facilitate efficient communication and accurate record-keeping.
  • Chief Complaint and Presenting Symptoms: Document the patient’s primary reason for seeking medical care and any presenting symptoms, providing a clear understanding of their current health status and concerns.
  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Outline the patient’s past medical history, including previous hospitalizations, surgeries, accidents, allergies, and chronic conditions, along with findings from the physical examination conducted during the admission process.
  • Family Medical History: Incorporate information about the patient’s family medical history, such as the presence of hereditary diseases, hospitalizations, and accidents among immediate family members, to provide additional context for the patient’s health status.
  • Medications and Treatments: List all prescribed medications, previously administered treatments, and any over-the-counter medications or supplements that the patient is taking. This information is crucial for avoiding drug interactions and ensuring appropriate treatment.
  • Diagnostic Tests and Results: Include any diagnostic tests that have been conducted, such as laboratory tests, imaging studies, or other procedures, along with their results. This data can help guide treatment decisions and inform the patient’s care plan.
  • Reason for Admission and Preliminary Diagnosis: Clearly state the rationale for the patient’s admission, including any preliminary diagnoses based on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic test results.
  • Care Plan and Management: Outline the initial care plan and management strategy for the patient, detailing the treatments, interventions, and monitoring required during their hospital stay.
  • Working Conditions and Social History: Assess and document the patient’s working environment and conditions, as well as relevant aspects of their social history, such as tobacco, alcohol, and substance use. This information can help identify potential contributing factors to the patient’s health concerns.
  • Additional Relevant Details: Include any other pertinent information that may impact the patient’s health, such as weight, appetite, vision, hearing, and height. This comprehensive data ensures a holistic understanding of the patient’s condition and enables healthcare providers to deliver personalized care.

How to Write a Quality Admission Note

A well-crafted admission note serves as the foundation for effective patient care, enabling healthcare professionals to understand the patient’s condition, medical history, and requirements for treatment. By following a systematic approach, healthcare providers can ensure that all pertinent information is accurately documented, facilitating informed decision-making and comprehensive care. Below is a step-by-step guide to writing a high-quality admission note that will set the stage for successful patient outcomes.

  • Begin with a thorough patient examination. Initiate the process by evaluating the patient’s symptoms and actively listening to their complaints. Document all relevant observations, particularly during in-person assessments. Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature should be recorded, along with any other pertinent information for treatment guidance.
  • Gather the patient’s personal information. Collect essential details about the patient, including their name, age, gender, address, phone number, nationality, residence, and emergency contact information. Be sure to identify a primary contact person among the patient’s relatives.
  • Specify the reason for admission. Clearly articulate the rationale for admission, guided by the patient’s symptoms and any available diagnoses. Include the duration of the patient’s experience with these symptoms.
  • Detail medications and accommodations. List all prescribed and previously administered medications, as well as any other treatments the patient has received. Document the assigned patient room and bed number, if applicable.
  • Record the patient’s medical history. Document the patient’s overall health status, past accidents, medical procedures, hospitalizations, allergies, and any progressive diseases or conditions.
  • Note the family’s medical history. Outline the health status of the patient’s immediate family members, including information about diseases, hospitalizations, and accidents, if applicable.
  • Assess the patient’s working conditions. Consider the patient’s work environment and conditions, as they may contribute to certain symptoms. Record any relevant details that could impact the patient’s health.
  • Capture additional pertinent details. Include any other significant factors that may affect the patient’s health, such as weight, appetite, vision, hearing, and height.

Pro Tip: To ensure accuracy and precision, avoid relying on memory alone; document observations and information as you gather them.

Nursing Admission Note Template

Patient InformationName, Age, Gender, Date of Birth, Address, Phone Number, Nationality, Residence, Emergency Contact Information
Chief ComplaintPrimary reason for seeking medical care and presenting symptoms
Medical HistoryPast medical history, including previous hospitalizations, surgeries, accidents, allergies, and chronic conditions
Physical ExaminationFindings from the physical examination conducted during the admission process
Family Medical HistoryHereditary diseases, hospitalizations, and accidents among immediate family members
Medications and TreatmentsPrescribed medications, previously administered treatments, over-the-counter medications, and supplements
Diagnostic Tests and ResultsLaboratory tests, imaging studies, and other procedures conducted, along with their results
Reason for AdmissionRationale for the patient’s admission and any preliminary diagnoses based on symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic test results
Care Plan and ManagementInitial care plan and management strategy, including treatments, interventions, and monitoring required during the hospital stay
Working ConditionsPatient’s working environment and conditions
Social HistoryRelevant aspects of the patient’s social history, such as tobacco, alcohol, and substance use
Additional Relevant DetailsOther pertinent information impacting the patient’s health, such as weight, appetite, vision, hearing, and height

Admission Note Example

Patient InformationName: John Smith
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 01/01/1958
Address: 123 Main Street
Phone Number: (555) 123-4567
Nationality: American
Residence: New York, NY
Emergency Contact: Jane Smith (Daughter), (555) 987-6543
Chief ComplaintShortness of breath and persistent cough for two weeks
Medical HistoryHypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, previous hospitalization for pneumonia 3 years ago
Physical ExaminationVital Signs: BP 150/95, HR 88, RR 22, Temp 99.5°F, O2 Sat 93% on room air
General: Alert, oriented, in moderate respiratory distress
Cardiovascular: Regular rhythm, no murmurs
Respiratory: Bilateral crackles, wheezing
Family Medical HistoryFather: Deceased, history of coronary artery disease
Mother: Alive, history of hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes
Medications and TreatmentsAmlodipine 5mg daily, Metformin 1000mg twice daily, Lisinopril 20mg daily
Diagnostic Tests and ResultsChest X-ray: Bilateral infiltrates suggestive of pneumonia
Bloodwork: Elevated WBC count, HbA1c 7.5%
Reason for AdmissionSuspected pneumonia with worsening respiratory symptoms, requiring further evaluation and treatment
Care Plan and ManagementIV antibiotics, supplemental oxygen, respiratory therapy, close monitoring of vital signs, and adjustment of antihypertensive medications as needed
Working ConditionsRetired, previously worked as an office clerk
Social HistoryNon-smoker, occasional alcohol use, denies illicit drug use
Additional Relevant DetailsWeight: 220 lbs, Height: 5’10”, Appetite: decreased over the past week, Vision: wears glasses for reading, Hearing: normal

Types of Admission Note

Hospital Admission Note:

The hospital admission note is a crucial medical record that outlines the patient’s current status and the reasons for their hospitalization. It encompasses personal information, medical examination results, accommodation details, and relevant information about the patient’s relatives, providing a comprehensive overview of the patient’s circumstances.

Nursing Admission Note:

This specialized admission note captures the patient’s status, including their medical history and physical examination findings, while also detailing the rationale for inpatient care at a hospital or facility. Additionally, it outlines the preliminary care plan for the patient.

Psychiatric Admission Note:

Focusing on mental health, the psychiatric admission note consists of psychological assessments and evaluations that aid in identifying the underlying causes of psychological symptoms and disorders. This information is crucial for determining the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Newborn Admission Note:

Created specifically for newborns, this admission note incorporates a thorough physical examination and pertinent information about the infant’s health. It serves as a valuable resource for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers as they monitor the baby’s well-being throughout their hospital stay.

Hospice Admission Note:

The hospice admission note is a vital document that confirms a patient’s eligibility for hospice care. It signifies that a physician has certified the patient as terminally ill and in need of palliative care, detailing all relevant information to support this decision.

Labor and Delivery Admission Note:

Tailored to maternity care, this admission note encompasses vital information about the patient’s labor and delivery status. It includes details such as the progress of labor, dilation, the patient’s medical history, and other essential data like weight, heart rate, and blood pressure. This comprehensive record ensures appropriate care and monitoring during the patient’s maternity stay.

History of Nursing Admission Note

The history of admission notes can be traced back to the early days of medical documentation, when healthcare providers recognized the importance of recording patient information to guide treatment decisions and ensure continuity of care. As the practice of medicine evolved over the centuries, so too did the process of creating and maintaining admission notes.

Early Medical Documentation

In ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, physicians documented their observations and treatment plans on papyrus or clay tablets. While these early records primarily focused on symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments, they laid the foundation for the more comprehensive medical documentation systems that would emerge in later periods.

The Middle Ages and Renaissance

During the Middle Ages, medical documentation became more systematic, with healthcare providers using books and manuscripts to record their findings. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century further advanced medical record-keeping, as it allowed for the dissemination of standardized forms and templates that could be used by physicians across Europe.

Modern Medical Records

The 19th and 20th centuries saw significant advancements in both medical knowledge and technology, prompting the development of more sophisticated medical record systems. As hospitals became more organized and specialized, the need for structured admission notes grew, leading to the creation of standardized templates for documenting patient information, medical history, and treatment plans.

During this time, Dr. Henry Plummer of the Mayo Clinic introduced the concept of the “unit record,” which consolidated all of a patient’s medical information into a single file. This innovation greatly improved the efficiency and accuracy of medical record-keeping and laid the groundwork for the modern admission note.

The Digital Revolution

The advent of electronic health record (EHR) systems in the late 20th and early 21st centuries further revolutionized the process of creating and maintaining admission notes. EHR systems enabled healthcare providers to quickly and easily document patient information, streamline communication among care teams, and reduce the risk of transcription errors. Today, digital admission notes are an integral part of the healthcare landscape, facilitating efficient, patient-centered care across a wide range of settings.


What is the role of an admission note in the continuity of care?

An admission note plays a critical role in maintaining continuity of care. It serves as a comprehensive record of the patient’s condition, medical history, and treatment requirements, ensuring that all healthcare providers involved in the patient’s care have access to the necessary information for seamless collaboration and informed decision-making.

How often should a nursing admission note be updated during a patient’s hospital stay?

The nursing admission note is typically completed upon the patient’s arrival at the hospital. However, nursing progress notes should be documented regularly throughout the patient’s stay to provide updates on their condition, any changes in treatment, and the effectiveness of the nursing care plan.

Can an admission note be revised if new information comes to light?

While an admission note represents the initial assessment and documentation, it can be updated or amended if new, relevant information emerges. However, it is important to follow proper documentation procedures, such as clearly indicating the date and time of the update or amendment and ensuring that the original admission note remains legible and accessible.

Who is responsible for writing an admission note?

Typically, the healthcare provider admitting the patient is responsible for writing the admission note. This could be a physician, nurse practitioner, or another qualified healthcare professional, depending on the specific care setting and the patient’s needs.

Are there any legal implications associated with admission notes?

Yes, admission notes hold significant legal implications, as they serve as a formal record of the patient’s condition and treatment plan. Inaccurate or incomplete documentation could lead to miscommunication, errors in care, or malpractice claims. Therefore, healthcare providers must ensure that they adhere to best practices and maintain thorough, accurate, and timely documentation in admission notes.

What is the relationship between admission notes and electronic health records (EHRs)?

In modern healthcare settings, admission notes are often integrated into electronic health records (EHRs) to provide a centralized, easily accessible record of the patient’s medical information. The use of EHRs streamlines the documentation process and enhances communication among healthcare providers, promoting more efficient and coordinated care.

How do nursing admission notes differ from medical admission notes?

While both types of admission notes document the patient’s information, chief complaint, and medical history, nursing admission notes focus more on nursing assessments, functional status, and nursing care plans. They capture vital signs, pain levels, and other relevant nursing findings to create a comprehensive care plan specific to the nursing profession.

How do nurses use admission notes to coordinate care with other healthcare professionals?

Nursing admission notes serve as an essential communication tool, allowing nurses to share crucial patient information with other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care. This ensures a multidisciplinary approach, promoting effective collaboration and the delivery of well-coordinated, patient-centered care.

Can a nursing admission note be used as a legal document?

Yes, nursing admission notes are considered legal documents, as they provide evidence of the care provided to the patient. Accurate and comprehensive documentation is essential, as these notes may be used in legal proceedings or to support insurance claims.

What are some best practices for maintaining patient confidentiality in nursing admission notes?

To maintain patient confidentiality, nursing admission notes should only be accessed by authorized healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care. Any electronic or printed copies of the notes should be securely stored and disposed of when no longer needed. Additionally, care should be taken to avoid sharing identifiable patient information in public spaces or with unauthorized individuals.

How do nurses ensure the accuracy and completeness of nursing admission notes?

Nurses should conduct thorough assessments, gather relevant information from the patient, family members, and other healthcare providers, and document findings in a timely manner. It’s essential to review the admission note for accuracy, completeness, and consistency before finalizing it. Any errors or omissions should be promptly addressed and corrected.

Can nursing admission notes be revised after they have been completed?

If new information becomes available or errors are discovered after the nursing admission note has been completed, an addendum or a late entry can be added to the patient’s record. This should include the date, time, and an explanation for the update, along with the new or corrected information. However, the original note should not be altered, as it is considered a legal document.

What are some common challenges in creating nursing admission notes, and how can they be addressed?

Some common challenges in creating nursing admission notes include time constraints, incomplete information, and difficulty in documenting complex situations. To address these issues, nurses can prioritize tasks, develop efficient documentation habits, collaborate with other healthcare professionals to gather necessary information, and seek guidance from experienced colleagues or supervisors when needed.

How does proper documentation in nursing admission notes contribute to quality improvement initiatives?

Accurate and comprehensive nursing admission notes can provide valuable insights into patient outcomes, care processes, and areas for improvement. By identifying trends, patterns, and potential issues, healthcare organizations can develop targeted strategies to enhance the quality of care and promote patient safety.


the admission note serves as a vital tool in the realm of patient care, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the individual’s health status, medical history, and treatment requirements. With diverse applications in various medical disciplines, including hospital, nursing, psychiatric, newborn, hospice, and labor and delivery care, a meticulously crafted admission note ensures that healthcare providers can make informed decisions and deliver personalized, high-quality care. By following a systematic approach to documenting crucial information, medical professionals can enhance patient outcomes, streamline communication within the care team, and foster a culture of excellence in healthcare delivery.