Recommendations for the future version of electronic discharge summary at Nova Scotia Health Authority
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Continuity of care is important for quality healthcare delivery. Communication between various healthcare providers plays an important role in the continuity of care. Discharge summaries that are sent out from hospitals to primary care providers in the community tell a story of what happened to patients during the hospitalization and play a critical role in this communication to help with continuity of care. Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) had handwritten and dictated discharge summaries before electronic discharge summary was introduced in the year 2014. This internship report describes the experience of assessing quality of various types of discharge summaries at NSHA in order to understand the impact of electronic discharge summary on the overall quality of discharge summaries. The project was aimed at assessing various components of quality such as content, timeliness, conciseness, and organization through patient chart audit, surveys and a clinician focus group. The project also identified challenges in using electronic discharge summary system and sought recommendations from end users to overcome those challenges. The project is expected to contribute towards improving healthcare delivery across the province of Nova Scotia.