Hospital discharge woes: In summary, GPs aren’t magicians or mind-readers

Emily Dunn

This is a time when patients are most at risk of iatrogenic illness: discharged from hospital, with changes to medications or microbiology results still pending, they remain in medical limbo until the follow-up consultation with their regular GP.

Too often, however, the hospital discharge summary, detailing drug changes or pathology, fails to arrive. And even when it does, it may be late or contain critical inaccuracies, resulting in patient harm.