27 June 2017
New PRSB standard for emergency care discharge summaries
"New EC standard will help patients, as it will ensure that the primary care teams have a clear picture of the reason patients attend emergency care and their diagnosis"
Nearly two million people attend emergency care (EC) services each month and sharing discharge information between emergency care and GP practices is essential to patient safety and good ongoing care.
The PRSB has just published the emergency care discharge summary standard. This work will ensure that when patients are discharged vital information is transferred quickly to their GP for ongoing treatment and made available to the patient.
The EC discharge summary standard project supports the Urgent and Emergency Care review by helping to enable improved discharge from hospital EC departments. It also builds upon the Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) project, which earlier this year created a new data set for urgent and emergency care services. The ECDS will better support patient care and improve information for commissioners as well as secondary purposes including research, audit and service improvement.
What will happen after the standard has been implemented?
- Key information will be transferred directly into the GP record, reducing the risk of transcription errors and improving the quality of information.
- Details on the emergency visit will be available more quickly to the GP practice, and the patient's safety and overall experience will be improved.
- Key information will be standardised, which means it will be available for secondary purposes, such as clinical audit and research.
With demand for emergency care continuing to rise, better information sharing will help ensure patients receive better follow-up care and possibly avoid re-attendance at hospital or re-admissions.
“The new EC standard will help patients, as it will ensure that the primary care teams have a clear picture of the reason patients attend emergency care and their diagnosis. This will ensure that patients receive the best care for their needs at both a personal and population level,"
Dr Tom Hughes, PRSB Advisory Board member for the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
It is essential that the EC discharge summaries use SNOMED CT (clinical) coding and the PRSB standardised clinical headings, so that data can be automatically extracted into GP records. Providers are contractually required to use these from 1 October 2018.
The standard applies to UK urgent and emergency care services including 24-hour consultant-led services, specialist emergency services, other types of emergency and minor injury units and walk-in centres. It is closely aligned to the e-discharge summary standard, which was published last month.
For more information go to the EC discharge standard.