Study: Doctors managing discharged patients don't get info they need

Far too often, doctors caring for patients being discharged from hospitals don't get the tests, data and other information they need to conduct good follow-up care, according to a new study.

The study, which appears next month in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, examined 668 hospital discharges with pending test results. Researchers found that just 16 percent of the 2,927 tests with pending results were mentioned in the discharge summaries. Also, a full 72 percent of test results which called for treatment changes weren't mentioned in discharge summaries.

Meanwhile, only 67 percent of discharge summaries indicated which primary care outpatient doctor was responsible for following up with the patient after discharge.

These results could easily lead to medical errors, researchers concluded.

To learn more about the study:
- read this UPI item