A look into how wait times for discharge summaries in NL compare to the rest of the country.
The researchers implemented a cross-sectional survey to compare the average wait times for family doctors to receive hospital discharge summaries in NL to the best performing province (Ontario) and Canada as a whole. 729 family physicians and 8332 patients were surveyed.
Discharge summaries help improve communication between inpatient and outpatient providers, and are meant to reduce adverse events and readmission rates.Ideally, discharge summaries should be received by family physicians within 4 days of discharge, but results show that few family physicians receive discharge summaries in this amount of time.
It takes much longer for family physicians in Newfoundland and Labrador to receive hospital discharge summary reports compared to the national average. Poor transitions leave patients in a vulnerable position and may lead to negative patient behaviors (e.g., poor adherence to medications) and negative patient outcomes including disease complications, adverse effects, and poor health-related quality of life.