Improving discharge summaries – development of a learning resource

This project aims to improve the quality of discharge summaries by defining and responding to junior doctor learning needs in this area. Funded by Novartis, the RCP's Health Informatics Unit (HIU) is collaborating with hospitals in Swansea (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board) and Cambridge (Addenbrooke’s) to develop structured clinical records and communications that conform to the national standards.

What we are doing

This project aims to improve the quality of discharge summaries and to reduce the time taken between discharge and receipt of discharge summaries by GPs, which have been identified as priority areas for many trusts, as well as to achieve accuracy and consistency in discharge summaries.

There is a need for education resources that will improve the understanding of the importance of comprehensive, accurate summaries and explain how this can be achieved. The HIU will work collaboratively with the Education team in delivering the learning resource.

The aim of the learning resource is to:

  • increase the accuracy, consistency and utility of discharge summaries
  • ensure discharge summaries are appropriate for a wide variety of purposes, including:
    • communication with GPs, other healthcare professionals, patients and carers
    • generation of data for secondary uses.

What we have produced

Dr Marissa Minns describes a series of steps to improve the quality of discharge summaries at her NHS trust.