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Rx Discrepancies Common in Hospital Discharge Summaries

Last Updated: December 19, 2017.

For older patients discharged from a regional hospital, there are frequently discrepancies between the electronic discharge summaries and the National Inpatient Medication Chart or discharge prescription, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients discharged from a regional hospital, there are frequently discrepancies between the electronic discharge summaries and the National Inpatient Medication Chart (NIMC) or discharge prescription, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Mary E. Wilkin, B.Pharm., from Manning Hospital in Taree, Australia, and colleagues examined the types and numbers of discrepancies in electronic discharge summaries prepared for older patients discharged from the medical wards of a regional hospital compared with the NIMC or discharge prescription. Data were included for 50 patients, aged 65 years or older, taking three or more regular medications who were discharged from the medical wards with an NIMC or discharge prescription and an electronic discharge summary.

The researchers identified 107 discrepancies, with 68 percent of the discharge summaries containing one or more discrepancies. Forty-three percent of the discrepancies related to omission of medications prescribed from the electronic discharge summary. Twenty-nine and 50 percent of the discrepancies were classified as having moderate potential clinical significance and minor clinical significance, respectively.

"This audit demonstrated that the majority of electronic discharge summaries supplied by the hospital contained discrepancies," the authors write. "Improved communication between health care providers at transitions of care is needed in rural settings."

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