Use of electronic discharge summaries helping patient care

Brisbane based GP Dr John Aloizosregistered one of his patients Kevin2 for a My Health Record in his practice. Kevin is a 48 year old diabetic with comorbidities including renal failure and hypertension requiring extensive ongoing treatment.

A couple of weeks later Kevin experienced a cardiac event while at Redlands Bay Hospital attending one of his thrice weekly dialysis appointments and was transferred to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Following treatment Kevin was discharged and his discharge summary was uploaded to his record. The ‘PCEHR’ flag on Dr Aloizos’s clinical information system shows up as green, indicating that the record had been activated.

Dr Aloizos visited Kevin at home and by viewing and downloading the discharge summary saw immediately that five of Kevin’s medicines had been altered during his hospitalisation.

“I was able to prepare and print the prescriptions for the new medicines and use the discharge summary as a checklist when I visited Kevin and reviewed the medication changes. Without this information, I would not have been able to provide the follow-up care I needed to,” said Dr Aloizos.

By uploading a new shared health summary into the My Health Record system, this ensured the medication list was accurate and up to date in the event other healthcare providers involved in Kevin’s care accessed the system.

Using information from the My Health Record, Dr Aloizos was able to improve the quality of care he provided to Kevin and eliminate the cost of having to revisit Kevin once he finally received the discharge summary.

[1] Dr Aloizos is also a Senior Clinical Governance Advisor with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)

[2] Not the patient's real name