An intervention to improve discharge summary completion rates within an Australian teaching hospital

Fergus William Gardiner


Objective: This study was designed to improve patient discharge summary completion rates directly following patient hospital discharge. The primary reason for this was to improve continuity of patient care and reduce hospital readmissions within 28 days.
Methods: The researcher benchmarked the discharge summary completion rate before conducting individual feedback directly to clinicians. Content was deemed complete if the information was present and appropriate. Partially completed, unclear, or absent information was deemed outstanding. This information was gained by looking at the hospital’s patient records. The researcher benchmarked the readmission data. This data included establishing monthly patient discharges (excluding deaths) and the number of unplanned and unexpected readmissions within 28 days related to the primary admission. This information was used to compare pre-intervention to invention readmission rates.
Results: The hospital’s total discharge completion rate statistically changed from 91.92% pre-intervention to 99.18% postintervention, with the biggest change occurring in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G). O&G discharge completion rate improved from 46.94% pre-intervention to 98.84% post-intervention. A two sample t-test indicated that this difference was significant, t(2.0905) = 0.0458, p = .05. The readmission rates statistical changed from 0.49% pre-intervention to 0.26% during the intervention period. A two sample t-test indicated that this difference was significant, t(2.3679) = 0.04205, p = .05.
Conclusions: This study provided evidence of the effectiveness of conducting audit and feedback sessions as it relates to patient discharge summaries and readmissions.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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