Content of a discharge summary from a medical ward: views of general practitioners and hospital doctors

J R Coll Physicians Lond. Jul-Aug 1995;29(4):307-10.


The objective of this study was to seek the views of general practitioners (GPs), hospital physicians and junior hospital doctors about the relative value of different items of clinical information in discharge summaries from medical wards, and so form a minimum and recommended data set for the purposes of clinical audit. GPs were selected randomly from five family health services authorities in England, and hospital consultants and junior hospital doctors were randomly selected from all 14 former health regions. Postal questionnaires were then sent to a sample of 400 GPs, 400 hospital consultants and 400 junior hospital doctors. The results have been tabulated. 'Details of drugs at discharge' (including frequency, dosage and proposed length of treatment), 'significant results of investigations, both positive and negative', 'suggested or made arrangements for follow up', and 'information given to patient about diagnosis' were ranked particularly high by all three groups of respondents.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • England
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Family Practice*
  • Humans
  • Medical Audit
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Patient Discharge* / standards
  • Patient Discharge* / trends
  • Quality Control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires