A small working group consisting of representatives from clinical, IT and the RiO transformation team was formed. The group undertook two pieces of work, one to review the old discharge summary and look at the requirements for the new discharge summary and the other to review the ward round form used in RiO which feeds into the discharge summary. The reviews looked at what information could be included automatically in the discharge summary and what would still need to be done manually.
The project was greatly facilitated by another project that was implemented to improve the standards and practice of note keeping in the weekly ward rounds. The notes were taken as free text entries in the ECR using templates that varied between different hospital teams. Using the outcome of a wide consultation a new form was created in the ECR to support the note keeping in the ward round in a semi-structured format. The eDischarge summary project enabled flowing of key information from this ward round form into the editable letter template that automatically creates the first draft of the eDischarge summary.
Once the review was completed the new editable template for the eDischarge summary was developed in RiO. The first draft went through two revisions after initial tests with the final version being audited for two weeks. Junior doctors who traditionally prepare discharge summaries used the new eDischarge summary template in three hospital wards to measure the time taken to prepare them. This small group of doctors was trained in the use of the new ward round form, how information from this form flowed into the new eDischarge summary template and how they were expected to review, edit and finalise the first draft generated by the ECR.
This small audit showed average savings of 30 minutes for each discharge summary. An acute admissions ward of 20 beds typically has to prepare between four and six discharge summaries each week, so the new eDischarge summary showed potential for considerable time savings for the junior doctors.
During the initial testing and training with different ward teams, there was feedback regarding the diagnosis section and changes were made to improve the clarity and consistency of contents in this section. The clinical coding team also fed back about the information entered into the diagnosis field and this was changed into a table rather than free text.
Approximately six weeks after go live the quality of the discharges was reviewed and a newsletter was written to the doctors informing them of what went well and what didn’t go so well. Feedback also determined a few other minor tweaks to the template to show that the doctors were being listened to.
Once that was complete work then started on community and the older adults and adult learning disability team and prisons. None of these have currently gone live, however, community and older adults are working with the manual template which although it doesn’t pre-populate with fields, does use the AoMRC headings. When the new discharge template is implemented it will drastically improve the production of eDischarge summaries in these areas as they will have information pre-populated which they haven’t had before.