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Pediatric Intern Education Improves Discharge Summaries

Intervention results in higher discharge summary scores compared with historical controls

MONDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- An educational intervention to train pediatric resident interns in the preparation of inpatient discharge summaries can significantly improve the quality of this documentation, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in Pediatrics.

Mikelle Key-Solle, M.D., of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., and colleagues studied the effect of an educational intervention among pediatric resident interns on discharge summary preparation. The intervention consisted of a group education session, a small-group reminder session, and participant preparation of discharge summaries, which were reviewed and scored (maximum score: six). The discharge summary scores for those who participated in the group sessions were compared with discharge summaries from historical controls.

The mean score before participating in the small-group reminder session was 3.6 in both the intervention and control groups. The researchers found that, after the small-group session, the scores in the intervention group increased by 0.56 points, and the proportion of discharge summaries incorporating at least five of six key components increased to 41 percent from 22 percent. The control group's scores remained unchanged throughout.

"A brief, low-intensity educational intervention can improve quality of discharge communication and be incorporated into residency training. Electronic templates should incorporate prompts for key components of a discharge summary," the authors write.

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