GP videos show importance of e-discharge summaries

GPs tell us that the discharge summary is often the only record they obtain of a patient’s hospital stay and a well-written discharge summary is invaluable. But in busy hospitals its importance is often overlooked.

A new series of educational videos by the PRSB aims to help raise awareness amongst health and care professionals of the importance of good e-discharge summaries.

When primary and secondary care providers share the right information in digital discharge summaries, it helps professionals to improve continuity of care and safety – which can save lives. Working in collaboration with GPs from the Lea Vale Medical Group, Bute House Medical Centre in Luton, Bedfordshire and Luton & Dunstable University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, we have produced a series of videos that help to demonstrate why digitally shared information is so beneficial to patients and professionals.

PRSB has received feedback from trusts that GPs find discharge summaries can be incomplete, lack important details and don’t always provide clear actions for GPs in order to provide ongoing patient care; and importantly medication information can be insufficient.

Amran Qurban, Head of GP Client Services, Luton & Dunstable University Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust said he was surprised to learn that junior doctors aren’t routinely taught how to complete a discharge summary effectively, or the important role they play to the continuity and safety of patient care. “We are seeing the benefits of digital information sharing through discharge summaries, and I am keen for all trust professionals to recognise their importance,” said. “I’m looking forward to making these videos a substantive part of our junior doctors’ induction programme and to feature them at education events within the trust.”

There are three videos in total, The videos cover benefits to patients, benefits to GPs and the challenges associated with discharge summaries.