Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The quality of discharge summaries at two Michigan hospitals


Clinical summaries averaged six pages (range 3-12). Several content elements were universally auto-populated into clinical summaries (eg, medication lists); others were not (eg, care team). Eighty-five per cent of clinical summaries contained discharge instructions, more often generated from third-party sources than manually entered by clinicians. Clinical summaries contained an average of 14 unique messages, including non-clinical elements irrelevant to postdischarge care. Medication list organisation reflected reconciliation mandates, and dosing charts, when present, did not carry column headings over to subsequent pages. Summaries were written at the 8th-12th grade reading level and scored poorly on assessments of understandability and actionability.

Not good.

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