Compliance with the Health Information and Quality Authority of Ireland National Standard for Patient Discharge Summary Information: a retrospective study in secondary care

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Abstract

Background

Unexplained changes to medication are common at hospital discharge and underscore the need to standardise patient discharge clinical documentation. In 2013, the Health Information and Quality Authority in Ireland published a Standard on the structure and content of discharge summaries. The intention was to ensure that all necessary information was complete and communicated to the next care provider.

Objectives

This study investigated one Hospital's compliance with the Standard, and appraised two methods of electronic discharge communication (Symphony or Tallaght Education and Audit Management System (TEAMS)).

Method

A retrospective survey of 198 randomly selected discharge summaries was conducted at the study hospital, a 600 bed academic teaching hospital located in Dublin, Ireland.

Results

Of the 198 evaluated summaries, mean total compliance was 77%±4.2 (95% CI 76.3 to 77.5). Most (84.7%, n=173) summaries were completed using one of the systems (TEAMS). Absence of communication about alteration of preadmission medication was frequent (107 out of 130 patients (82.3%, CI 76.2 to 89.2)). Higher compliance rates were observed however, when information was interfaced or where there were dedicated fields to be completed.

Conclusions

Efforts to improve compliance with the National Standard for Patient Discharge Summary Information should focus on reporting changes made to medication during hospitalisation.

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