Importance of a Great Discharge Summary


Physicians and other practitioners need to know the details about the care a patient receives during an inpatient hospital stay. Discharge summaries are an invaluable resource that may improve patient outcomes by providing for continuity and coordination of care and a safe transition to other care settings and providers.

Communications via the discharge summary provides a smooth and long-lasting transition of the patient to the next level of care and avoids miscommunication or delays in care that may lead to poor outcomes.

Provider Survey Results: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Provider Satisfaction Survey includes questions about PCPs’ satisfaction with hospital discharge summaries. In 2021, we saw an overall decrease in the results compared to 2020. The greatest decrease was  in the overall satisfaction with continuity of care and the timeliness of  receiving hospital discharge summaries. Of the summaries received, adequate information about medications at discharge still met the goal of 85% even with the slight 2 percentage point decrease. The results demonstrate opportunities for improvement, most importantly making sure the PCP receives a discharge summary.

BCBSTX Provider Satisfaction Survey – Hospital Discharge Summary Feedback

Survey Questions




Overall satisfaction with continuity of care




When you receive hospital discharge information, does it contain adequate information about medications at discharge?




When you receive hospital discharge information, does it reach your office within a timely manner (within 10 business days)?




When your patients are admitted to a hospital, are you sent summary information after the discharge?




Improving the Discharge Process: In an effort to improve the exchange of patient information between health care settings and practitioners responsible for follow-up care, CMS has implemented the Interoperability and Patient Access Rule that went into effect in 2021.  This electronic event notification is critical in avoiding miscommunication or delays in care while providing patients better access to their medical information and being better informed. More information can be found on:

We applaud practitioners that have adopted a structured approach to discharge summaries.