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Audit of psychiatric discharge summaries: completing the cycle

  • Isabelle Crossan (a1), David Curtis (a2) and Yong-Lok Ong (a3)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To examine and attempt to improve the recording of information within psychiatric discharge summaries in an adult psychiatry department, by means of audit and feedback. Psychiatric discharge summaries from an acute adult psychiatric department were examined to determine the recording of ten selected items. Following feedback and discussion, the audit was repeated after 6 months.

Results

Fifty-one discharge summaries were examined on the first occasion and 53 on the second. There was considerable variability in the standard of recording across the selected items, but the patterns of recording were similar at both stages. No improvement was found in the recording of information at the second audit.

Clinical Implications

Audit and feedback alone may have little effect in changing clinical practice. This study examines the experience of undertaking clinical audit from a trainee's perspective, illustrates barriers to change and highlights the possible limitations of audit as a clinical tool.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Johnston, G., Crombie, I. K., Davies, H.T., et al (2000) Reviewing audit: barriers and facilitating factors for effective clinical audit. Quality in Health Care, 9, 2336.
Macauley, E. M., Cooper, G. C., Engeset, J., et al (1996) Prospective audit of discharge summary errors. British Journal of Surgery, 83, 788790.
Nettleton, J. & Ireland, A. (2000) Junior doctors' views on clinical audit – has anything changed? International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance: Leadership in Health Service, 13, 245253.
Solomon, J. K., Maxwell, R. B. & Hopkins, A. P. (1995) Content of a discharge summary from a medical ward: views of general practitioners and hospital doctors. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 29, 307310.
Thomson O'BRIEN, M. A., Oxman, A. D., Davis, D. A., et al (2000a) Audit and feedback: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. Cochrane Library, issue 2. Oxford: Update Software.
Thomson O'BRIEN, M. A., Oxman, A. D., Davis, D. A., et al (2000b) Audit and feedback versus alternative strategies: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. Cochrane Library, issue 2. Oxford: Update Software.
Wilson, S., Ruscoe, W., Chapman, M., et al (2001) General practitioner–hospital communications: a review of discharge summaries. Journal of Quality in Clinical Practice, 21, 104108.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Audit of psychiatric discharge summaries: completing the cycle

  • Isabelle Crossan (a1), David Curtis (a2) and Yong-Lok Ong (a3)
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