A prospective case control study of the benefits of electronic discharge summaries

J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12 Suppl 1:20-1. doi: 10.1258/135763306777978605.


A system of electronic discharge summaries was developed. It replaced conventional discharge prescriptions and dictated discharge summaries. We conducted a prospective case-control study of 102 consecutive patients admitted to our hospital under the care of one consultant physician. Patients discharged after 1 December 2004 were discharged using the new computerised system (50 patients) while patients admitted under the same medical team, but to another ward were discharged using the conventional paper discharge system (52 patients). Patients in the electronic group and the conventional group were similar in age (mean 67 years versus 58 years, P>0.05) and duration of hospital stay (6 days versus 1 day, P>0.05). The mean time taken to produce an electronic discharge summary was immediate (0 days) which was significantly (P<0.0001) less than the mean time taken to produce a conventional discharge summary (80 days). Combining electronic discharge prescriptions with electronic summaries appears promising and merits further study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Patient Discharge*