18 March 2024

Many practices in South Western Sydney have been reporting they are receiving duplicate electronic discharge summaries.

Normally, when a patient is discharged from hospital they are provided with a paper copy of their discharge summary for them to give to their GP and a digital copy is forwarded to the GP.

If the doctor at the hospital decides to make changes or add new information to the discharge summary, a new digital copy will be sent.

For example:

  • discharging clinician at the hospital has created the discharge summary document for the patient and has sent the digital copy to the GP
  • five to 10 minutes later, they make changes or add information to the discharge summary and a new copy with the changes is sent electronically to the GP
  • for the receiving GP, this will appear as if the document has been duplicated as there may have been only minor changes
  • if the GP reads the document in its entirety, it may become clearer the document contains updated information, however the wording does not inform the GP of what has been added or changed

Top tip: Take a look at the end of the discharge summary document for the document version number.

Electronic discharge summaries not being delivered?

Shortly, we’ll be in touch with practices and GPs in our catchment who have previously not consented to their information being shared with South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) for the purposes of maintaining practice and practitioner records in SWSLHD’s systems.

SWSPHN has been working closely with SWSLHD to audit and finalise secure mechanisms for sharing practice records.

This will help ensure electronic discharge summaries have the best chance of being distributed to the correct practice and GP after a patient admission.

Top tip: You can also check My Health Record for any electronic discharge summary records for your patients.

Digital health questions? Contact our team

If you are having any issues with electronic discharge summaries (including delivery) or any other digital health issues, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team at SWSPHN at digitalhealth@swsphn.com.au.