Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

GP Discharge Datasets

The National EMP developed guidance for ED and local injury unit (LIU) teams regarding the datasets that should be included in patient discharge information that is routinely communicated to a patient’s GP in letter or electronic format.

This guidance was developed through a collaborative project undertaken by the EMP, the HSE Primary Care Directorate and the General Practice Information Technology Group of the Irish College of General Practitioners.

It aims to assist hospitals in meeting the recommendations of the HIQA Report of the investigation into the quality, safety and governance of the care provided by the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH) for patients who require acute admission, 8 May 2012.

The report states that any communication following discharge “should ensure that the necessary community services and supports and any further hospital services e.g. OPD are in place for the patient to enable timely discharge” and that all discharges should “have the appropriate follow-up arrangements organised and communicated to themselves, their GP and appropriate community services’’.

t also recommends that: “All hospitals providing emergency care must continually manage and review the effectiveness of the patient-streaming, patient discharge arrangements, access to diagnostic investigations and fast-tracking systems in place.” Good discharge communication is recognised as being essential to high-quality patient care. It is particularly important for child protection, medicines reconciliation and mitigating the risks of missed follow-up care after ED discharge.

The dataset included in this guidance is compliant with the recommendations of the HIQA National Standard for Patient Discharge Summary Information 2012 and will assist EDs in implementing this guidance. It also reflects the College of Emergency Medicine UK standard template for audit of discharge communications and EMP Report recommendations regarding the ED/General Practice interface. The inclusion of diagnostic coding in the dataset for GP discharge communication will provide essential data to support future National Emergency Medicine Audit.

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