Improving communication with primary care to ensure patient safety post-hospital discharge.
Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2015 Jan;76(1):46-9
Authors: Shivji FS, Ramoutar DN, Bailey C, Hunter JB
INTRODUCTION: Successful communication between hospitals and primary care is of paramount importance to enable continuity of care and maintain patient safety post-discharge. Discharge summaries are the simplest way for GPs to obtain information about a patient's hospital stay. A quality improvement study was conducted with the aim of increasing the content of discharge summaries for inpatients in the authors' department.
METHODS: A prospective review of 60 electronic discharge summaries was conducted over a 6-week period. The content of discharge summaries was reviewed in accordance with local trust guidelines. Targeted, intensive, cost and time-effective educational interventions were then conducted. A post-intervention review of 60 discharge summaries was performed. A further review of 60 discharge summaries was performed after 12 months.
RESULTS: Initial results pre-intervention confirmed suboptimal content of discharge summaries. Post-intervention results showed each component of discharge summaries improved in terms of content, with six of eight components having a statistically significant (P<0.05) increase. This was maintained after 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated how simple, intensive educational sessions can lead to an improvement in discharge summaries and communication with primary care.
PMID: 25585184 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]