Same Day Discharge Summaries - Safe Transfer of Care

Initiative Type
01 May 2018
Last updated
07 May 2021


The same day discharge summary project began as a result of feedback received from clinicians and local GP’s regarding inconsistent discharge summaries. In house data reflected below average completion rates across the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS). Extensive published evidence suggests that discharges not accompanied with essential clinical information at the time of transition from hospital to the community are associated with a significant incidence of adverse clinical outcomes are re-presentation to hospital.

The project is a finalist in the Connecting Healthcare Category at the 2018 Queensland Health Awards for Excellence.

Key dates
Jan 2016
Jan 2018
Implementation sites
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service


To improve patient safety through effective and accurate transfer of information at discharge.


  • A minimum data set for transfer of care designed to record and transfer patient information, responsibility and accountability.
  • Ensures appropriate follow on care.
  • Delivers a sustainable education program embedded in clinical units.


Extensive data on discharge summary completion rates and timeframes was routinely collected and reported on by Clinical Information Systems. This provided a very clear baseline for the project. As at January 2017 the overall same day discharge summary completion rate for the SCHHS was 19 per cent.

Evaluation and Results

Timely accurate discharge summaries are vital for safe and effective clinical handover. An internal audit highlighted issues with timeliness, completion rates and quality. Initiatives were commenced to improve processes resulting in a new procedure being developed. The results of the same day discharge summary project demonstrate a marked improvement in timely completion, with overall rates improving from 19 per cent to 74 per cent. This is expected to lead to increased patient safety, reduced re-admission rates, increased patient and GP satisfaction.

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Key contact

Marion Woodhead
Medical Education Officer
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
(07) 5470 5646