Breakthrough on hospital-GP clinical handover

Press/Media: Expert Comment


A major Australian hospital service has moved to reframe discharge summaries as clinical handovers, following years of advocacy by local GPs.

RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC–QC) Chair, Associate Professor Mark Morgan, told newsGP proper clinical handovers during transitions in care – both entering and exiting hospitals – were vitally important.
‘Much of the danger from medication misadventure happens when patients transition through the health system.’
He backed calls for the wider reframing of discharge summaries as ‘clinical handovers’ and called on them to be subjected to the same scrutiny and audit process as critical handovers within acute hospital services.
‘[We need to] ensure that ‘clinical handover’ is the responsibility of the patient consultant or head-of-service, even if the task is delegated to more junior staff, the responsibility must sit with permanent senior staff,’ he said.
Associate Professor Morgan also called for hospitals to ensure a patient’s GP was listed as part of every summary page for hospital in-patients, and given as much weight as date of birth or address.


General Practice policy

Period15 Feb 2019

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