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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 394-400

Development of a quality scoring tool to assess quality of discharge summaries

1 Primary Health Care, Nova Scotia Health Authority; Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2 Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
3 Primary Health Care, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
4 Dalhousie University; Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tara Sampalli
Primary Health Care, Suite 0265, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 1P4
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_407_16

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Introduction: Timely, precise, and relevant communication between hospital-based clinicians and primary care physicians post-discharge (DC) ensures quality transitions, thereby reducing patient safety incidents and preventing readmission. At the present time there is limited knowledge of elements of quality or methods to score the quality criteria in the context of DC summaries. The Nova Scotia Health Authority, a provincial health system responsible for the delivery of services in a small Canadian province, embarked on a system-level approach to the standardization of DC summaries in an effort to improve quality and safety at care transitions from hospital to primary care. Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature review to retrieve items relevant to quality in DC summaries, retrospective audit of charts, a consensus development process, and, finally, validation of a scoring tool were conducted in order to develop a quality scoring tool for DC summaries. Results: Relevant items were identified through the literature review and consensus development process. Corresponding definitions that were established assisted the development of the quality criteria, which were subsequently used to score the quality of DC summaries in our organization. Conclusion: The scoring tool developed through this work will be applied to help us gain a more in-depth understanding of quality in DC summaries and support the development of suitable education and quality processes in the health authority that can best support safe care transitions for patients.

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