Adherence to UK national guidance for discharge information: an audit in primary care

Hammad, Eman A., Wright, David John, Walton, Christine, Nunney, Ian and Bhattacharya, Debi ORCID: (2014) Adherence to UK national guidance for discharge information: an audit in primary care. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 78 (6). pp. 1453-1464. ISSN 0306-5251

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Aims: Poor communication of clinical information between healthcare settings is associated with patient harm. In 2008, the UK National Prescribing Centre (NPC) issued guidance regarding the minimum information to be communicated upon hospital discharge. This study evaluates the extent of adherence to this guidance and identifies predictors of adherence. Methods: This was an audit of discharge summaries received by medical practices in one UK primary care trust of patients hospitalized for 24 h or longer. Each discharge summary was scored against the applicable NPC criteria which were organized into: ‘patient, admission and discharge’, ‘medicine’ and ‘therapy change’ information. Results: Of 3444 discharge summaries audited, 2421 (70.3%) were from two teaching hospitals and 906 (26.3%) from three district hospitals. Unplanned admissions accounted for 2168 (63.0%) of the audit sample and 74.6% (2570) of discharge summaries were electronic. Mean (95% CI) adherence to the total NPC minimum dataset was 71.7% [70.2, 73.2]. Adherence to patient, admission and discharge information was 77.3% (95% CI 77.0, 77.7), 67.2% (95% CI 66.3, 68.2) for medicine information and 48.9% (95% CI 47.5, 50.3) for therapy change information. Allergy status, co-morbidities, medication history and rationale for therapy change were the most frequent omissions. Predictors of adherence included quality of the discharge template, electronic discharge summaries and smaller numbers of prescribed medicines. Conclusions: Despite clear guidance regarding the content of discharge information, omissions are frequent. Adherence to the NPC minimum dataset might be improved by using comprehensive electronic discharge templates and implementation of effective medicines reconciliation at both sides of the health interface.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: care transition,discharge communication,discharge information,discharge summary,medicine reconciliation,npc minimum dataset
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Medicines Management (former - to 2017)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Patient Care
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2015 15:18
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 02:05
DOI: 10.1111/bcp.12463


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