Posted on 16. June 2015 · Posted in BLOG, project info

Once discharged from hospital, patients are often advised to consult their general practitioner (GP) for the management of any new or ongoing problems. An Australian study found that 25% visited their GP within 4 days of hospital discharge and 50% within 12 days. Patients may present to their GP requiring further medication; investigations for new or ongoing health problems; referrals to other specialists; referrals for tests or treatments or sick-leave certification. Furthermore, they or their family members may require clarification on the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis or follow-up plan. Given the varied roles assumed by the GP, primary care helps to support patients and facilitate their return to the community. To inform the care needed after discharge, GPs rely on advice from hospital clinicians who treated the patient. However, GPs are generally dissatisfied with the details provided, even when the information is supplemented by patient consultation. This can have serious implications for the patient, including the administration of incorrect medication or doses, and/or readmission to hospital, among other adverse events.

The PATIENT project in tackling this issue worked on developing the e-DL mobile App with the core developer Leonardo Lezcano,  which  provides a promising and yet secure solution to paper based discharge letters. It is a revolutionary approach to transfer discharge letters and prevent unstructured texts, unstandardised diagnosis, language barriers, incompleteness and ambiguity.

A seamless exchange between doctors, specialists and patients is technically supported by the App through the Near Field Communication (NFC) standards. NFC will dramatically change information exchange in society and will affect all kinds of living. This has been become evident with the launch of the iPhone 6 that adapts NFC to the phone and directly supports paying procedures through NFC technology. PATIENT already adopted NFC technology in January 2013 on the Google Android OS and developed the NFC standard into the e-DL App by taking over the CLAS checklist items.

The eDL app provides a revolutionary way to exchange Electronic Discharge Letters and prevent the current problems related to the paper based letters generated by doctors. Handwritings, narratives and unstructured text, lack of standardization, language barriers, incompleteness and ambiguity are some of the problems addressed by the eDL app. It supports semantic interoperability of diagnosis and medications, raises allergy alerts and encourages patient empowerment, all of which ultimately improves patient safety.

Below an introduction video about the e-DL App can be found.

About the Author

Pat Henn