Why aren’t we better at sharing transfer of care information?

Tech suppliers and NHS providers need to work together to improve the sharing of information at discharge. They should begin by embracing the PRSB’s e-Discharge standard, writes Dr Nilesh Bharakhada

As a GP in North-West London, my practice receives significant numbers of transfer of care notifications in the form of discharge summaries and clinic letters from local and regional acute trusts and community care providers.

Every day around three (whole time equivalent) admin staff spend at least half a day processing discharges, working with our pharmacists to reconcile medication, code procedures and diagnoses and forward summaries which require GP actions such as reviews or onward referrals. This labour-intense process is vitally important to ensure patient safety, yet one can’t help feeling frustrated that this information is not more easily ingested by GP systems, in a structured way.

Nationally, 1.5million people use NHS services every day and many hundreds of thousands

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