Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick P. Gault

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. J. M. Keenan

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Completion of hospital medical records by physicians is a frequent problem to hospital administrations. A performance based lottery was used to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing the number of medical records which were unfinished and considered delinquent. Thirty-three male physicians were included in this study. Physicians earned or lost lottery chances in weekly drawings for a dinner at a restaurant or gift certificate to a local store. Results show an immediate increase in rate of record completion which declines over the course of the eight week experimental condition. Age of records were inversely correlated to the rate of completion. The procedure was initially successful although its effectiveness diminished. Several procedural drawbacks may have influenced behavior such as additional response effort to retrieve the prize and difficulty in recording dates by office staff. Other methods of controlling performance are discussed.