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The importance of discharge summaries, continued

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“Improvements in all aspects of discharge summary quality are necessary to enable the discharge summary to serve as an effective transitional care tool,” the authors wrote.

“If you discharge a patient from the hospital and the physician that is now going to be following them is not given a discharge summary that is accurate and complete, then [the doctor is] going to screw things up,” Steven Wolfson, M.D., a New Haven cardiologist uninvolved in either study told the New Haven Register. These transitions are particularly dangerous for patients, he said, because “[i]t’s like crossing an international boundary … largely because the information flow is critical and it’s often very poor.”


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