21 June 2017

The PRSB publishes Care Home Information Flows report

Care homes have highlighted the need for better digital information sharing following hospital discharge, a new report from the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) finds.

A survey of more than 260 care home respondents found that care home workers needed better handovers to care homes, better planning by hospitals ahead of discharge, higher quality discharge summary information and appropriate discharge times for their service users.

  • Care homes reported differences in receipt of discharge summaries, with 27% not receiving summaries.
  • Of the care homes receiving discharge summaries, nine in 10 still get paper records, though two-thirds of those interviewed said they had their own digital processes in place.
  • Care homes highlighted issues including poor communication, lack of information and poor discharge processes.
  • The majority of respondents, (77%) felt that digital communication systems would help them with hospital discharge summaries.
  • While care homes are increasingly using technology and have developed digital processes internally for managing care, these are not connected to the wider health and social care system.

The PRSB believes the widespread use of the e-discharge summary, published in 2015 and recently enhanced, could help care homes to get the information they need to provide better care.

Speaking about the report, Ian Turner, PRSB advisory board member and chair of the Registered Nursing Home Association, said: “For those living in care homes, hospital visits and other temporary changes to care can be unsettling. By ensuring that correct care and medication information is shared between relevant professionals, we can make the process of transfer safer and more comfortable for the service user."

Findings from the report will be used by NHS Digital's social care programme to consider how to improve these information flows. The PRSB is expecting to provide further support to the programme as it progresses. The report can now be downloaded here.

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