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Title: An audit of discharge summaries
Authors: Vinker, S.
Nakar, Sasson
Zibulevski, G.
Gorodeski, O.
Schattner, A.
Kitai, Eliezer
Keywords: Hospitals -- Admission and discharge -- Israel
Hospitals -- After care
Continuum of care -- Israel
Health facilities -- Discharge planning
Issue Date: 2001-12
Publisher: Malta College of Family Doctors
Citation: Vinker, S., Nakar, S., Zibulevski, G., Gorodeski, O., Schattner, A., & Kitai, E. (2001). An audit of discharge summaries. The Family Physician : It-Tabib tal-Familja, 21, 9-12.
Abstract: Background: In the continuum of patient care, admission to the department of medicine constitutes a brief yet critical period. Subsequent patient care depends on the discharge summary (DS) and its implementation. Aim: To evaluate the department of medicine -family physician interface by a discharge summaries audit. Method: A retrospective study analyzing all admissions and discharges between a department of medicine and a primary care clinic over a period of ten months. Results: 129 DS were evaluated and compared to 97 available primary care medical charts. Most admissions were due to a medical emergency (95%), the patients were often elderly and 23% lived alone. Hospital stay averaged 4.0±2.4 days, readmission rate was 15.8%. In 73% of the DS at least one new drug was prescribed. The family physician was the one expected to continue treatment in most of the cases, but in over a third of the patients, a referral to further consultation was deemed necessary. The DS was found in 82% of the primary care charts. Median time interval between discharge and consultation with the family physician was three days (range 1-30). Home visits by physicians were documented in eight cases only. Conclusion: Most discharged patients require further evaluation and newly prescribed medications, making a timely and coordinated continuous care in the community mandatory. A high quality, rapidly available DS is therefore important for the family physician. Whether improved communication will reduce readmissions and improve patient prognosis and quality of care should be clarified by further study.
Appears in Collections:The Family Physician : It-Tabib tal-Familja, Issue 21
The Family Physician : It-Tabib tal-Familja, Issue 21

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