Australian general practitioners' views on qualities that make effective discharge communication: a scoping review

Gusmeroli, Melinda, Perks, Stephen, Lanskey, Cassie, and Bates, Nicole (2023) Australian general practitioners' views on qualities that make effective discharge communication: a scoping review. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 29 (5). pp. 405-415.

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Abstract

Transitions of patient care between hospital discharge and primary care are known to be an area of high-risk where communication is imperative for patient safety. Discharge summaries are known to often be incomplete, delayed and unhelpful for community healthcare providers. The aim of this review was to identify and map the literature which discusses Australian general practitioners' (GPs) views on the qualities that make up effective discharge communication. Medline, Scopus and the Cochrane register of controlled drug trails and systematic reviews were searched for publications until October 2021 that discussed Australian GPs' views on discharge communication from hospital to general practice. Of 1696 articles identified, 18 met inclusion and critical appraisal criteria. Five studies identified that GPs view timeliness of discharge summary receipt to be a problem. Communication of medication information in the discharge summary was discussed in six studies, with two reporting that GPs view reasons for medication changes to be essential. Five studies noted GPs would prefer to receive clinical discipline or diagnosis specific information. Four studies identified that GPs viewed the format and readability of discharge summaries to be problematic, with difficulties finding salient information. The findings of this scoping review indicate that GPs view timeliness, completeness, readability, medication related information and diagnosis/clinical discipline specific information to be qualities that make up effective discharge communication from hospital to the community. There are opportunities for further research in perspectives of effective discharge communication, and future studies on interventions to improve discharge communication, patient safety and policy in transfers of care.

Item ID: 79533
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-7399
Keywords: communication, general practitioners, health education, medical record linkage, medical records, medication systems, medication therapy management, patient discharge, pharmacy administration
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of La Trobe University. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 01:16
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420304 General practice @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420306 Health care administration @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200203 Health education and promotion @ 100%
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