New guidelines simplify discharge summaries

New guidelines are promising to help solve one of the most frustrating problems facing GPs — the incomplete and inconsistent hospital discharge summary.

The Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care has released guidelines showing hospitals what to include on an electronic discharge summary, and how to present it in a clear and succinct format for GPs.

The guidelines come in the form of style sheets designed to be incorporated into hospital software systems.

The templates include the essential components of a discharge summary, such as