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The importance of discharge summaries, continued


“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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