Emergency Department Discharge Summary Standard

The project will develop new standards for patient records of emergency department discharges.

ED discharge summary standard

Why do we need an ED discharge summary standard?

It is important that when patients are discharged from emergency departments (ED) that vital information is transferred quickly to their GP and a copy of the information is shared with the patient. It is particularly important for GPs to have information aboutchanges made to the patient's medication during an ED attendance.

Our aim is to improve patientsafety and continuity of care by developing standardised electronic ED discharge summaries which will be implemented in the NHS. This will help the NHS move from the current largely paper/email based discharge summaries to standardised structured electronic communications, which will enable ED and GP practice systems to share information in real time.

National standards will help ensure that different electronic information systems can talk to one anotherand that patients are safely transferred between episodes of care, in a way that uses NHS time and resources more effectively.

What will the standard include?

The project will develop standardised sets of information including definitions of what information should be noted, and how it should be structured and recorded, and implementation guidance for ED discharge summaries to GPs. Electronic ED discharge summaries will enable:

  • key information to be transferred into the GP record, following review by aclinician, which will reduce transcription errors and improve the quality and completeness of information held in the GP system
  • information on the ED attendance to be available more quickly to the GP practice
  • patient safety and patient experience to be improved
  • key information in ED discharge summaries to be standardised, which will also meanthat high quality coded data is available for secondary purposes, such as clinical audit, and research.

Developing the standard

The project will build on the outputs of previous PRSB projects, including hospital to GP discharge summary, crisis care documentation and transfer of care messages from ambulance to ED. We are working with GPs through the Royal College of GPs, and emergency care clinicians from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine who are developing the Emergency Care Data Set and we will ensure these pieces of work are aligned. We are committed to widespread consultation with patients, clinicians, healthcare professionals and suppliers, to ensure that the ED discharge summary meets the needs of the recipients and is feasible for ED departments to use and vendors to implement in their IT systems. The final version of the standard and the details that underpin it as well as implementation guidance will be published on the PRSB website. This work is due to be completed by March 2017, and is expected to be published early in 2017-18.

Should you have any questions please contact our project partners at (0)20 3075 1484 or informatics@rcplondon.ac.uk

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1 Previous Comments:
Bryan Macleod

Mar 08, 2017 (04:50pm)

When will the report / guidance for this be released please?