Are you meeting the NHS contract requirement to get discharge letters to GPs within 72 hours? Will you be ready for the 24 hour requirement starting in April 2010? Find out how to do it at this free online seminar. Register now and watch the debate on demand on your PC
Are you meeting the NHS contract requirement to get discharge letters to GPs within 72 hours? Will you be ready for the 24 hour requirement starting in April 2010? Find out how to do it at this free online seminar. Register now and watch the debate on demand on your PC.
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Cost: Free
- Where: Your PC
- Register now
Getting discharge letters to GPs is not a glamorous job but it is a critical safety issue. How can a GP provide safe care if they do not know a patient has been in hospital, let alone what happened to them or what they were prescribed? Too often in the past the task has been left to junior doctors. The consequence was late and incomplete discharge summaries. That is not good enough anymore.
In April 2008 the NHS contract introduced a new national standard: acute hospitals must send a discharge summary to a patient’s GP within 72 hours of the patient’s discharge. In April 2010, this drops to 24 hours. Failure puts hospitals in breach of their contract and they can be penalised financially. But a year into the new contract and two thirds of GPs surveyed by the NHS Alliance say they are still not getting discharge letters on time. One in four GPs says this has put patient safety at risk.
PCTs and practice based commissioning groups are beginning to flex their financial muscles. Suddenly, discharge letters are getting a lot more attention than they used to. It is clear that paper-based solutions won’t cut it. The only way forward is standardised electronic discharge summaries, securely transmitted over local healthcare networks.
There are several potential benefits:
- patients leave hospital quicker and with a legible copy of the discharge summary
- GPs have immediate access to the patients’ discharge medication, dose, and frequency
- hospital staff spend less time spend completing discharge summaries
- improved bed management
- a better experience for the patient
Realising these benefits is easier said than done. Discharge information comes from a wide variety of legacy IT systems and hospital PASs. GPs increasingly want electronic correspondence to integrate into their clinical systems in order to meet their own governance requirements. And then there is the issue of standards which are now being built into the national NHS IT programme. Automating discharge summaries is a major systems integration feat. It’s clear a new approach is warranted. The expert panel will look at how you meet the national standards.
This online seminar will tackle the following:
- Why time is running out for developing electronic discharge processes.
- Penalties and incentives - do they work?
- Discharge automation - where to start? What does it cost and what is the rate of return?
- Systems integration - what are the options? What do they cost and are they flexible?
- Standards - considerations for technical and interoperability standards.
Helen Crump, HSJ Deputy News Editor
- Dr Michael Dixon, Chair, NHS Alliance
- Tim Riley, Chief Executive, Tameside and Glossop PCT
- Anne Quirk, Director, Oakleigh Consulting
- Josh Painter, Senior Architect, Intel
Who should watch?
- Chief executives of PCTs and acute trusts
- Directors of commissioning
- Directors of finance in PCTs and acute trusts
- Directors of strategy and performance
- Directors of information management and technology
- Practice based commissioners
With the 2010 deadline fast approaching getting it right now is paramount. There’s no resting on your laurels - take action now by watching this free and essential online seminar. Register now.