Background: Discharge summaries are a standard communication tool delivering important clinical information from inpatient to ambulatory care. To ensure a high quality, correctness and completeness, the generation process is time consuming. It requires also contributions of multiple persons. This is problematic since the primary care provider needs the information from the discharge summary for continuing the intended treatment. To address this challenge, we developed a concept for exchanging a modular electronic discharge summary.
Methods: Through a literature review and interviews with multiple stakeholders, we analysed existing processes and derived requirements for an improved communication of the discharge summary.
Results: In this paper, we suggest a concept of a modular electronic discharge summary that is exchanged through the electronic patient dossier in CDA CH level 2 documents. Until 2020, all Swiss hospitals are obliged to connect to the electronic patient dossier. Our concept allows to access already completed modules of the discharge summary from the primary care side, before the entire report is entirely finalised. The data is automatically merged with the local patient record on the physician side and prepared for data integration into the practice information system.
Conclusion: Our concept offers the opportunity not only to improve the information exchange between hospital and primary care, but it also provides a potential use case and demonstrates a benefit of the electronic patient dossier for primary care providers who are so far not obliged to connect to the patient dossier in Switzerland.
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