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Perception of Medical Students about Electronic Discharge Summaries

Dola Saha, Ibrahim Mohammed Nur


On the increase is the utilization of electronic discharge summaries (EDS) for clinical perspective as well as for research; but rarely studies have been made in recent years which look at the perspectives of medical students regarding usage of EDS. Medical students are a critical stakeholder in the hospital operations and they can provide useful analysis on everyday processes that impact patient care throughout the process of discharge summary. The objectives of the present study are to know the perception of medical students about electronic discharge summary in a tertiary care teaching hospital of Southern India, to assess the level of satisfaction about electronic discharge summary among the medical students and to understand the barriers, if any, about electronic discharge summary. The methodology adopted for the purpose involved a cross-sectional study involving 224 medical students and medical transcriptionists in a tertiary care teaching hospital of southern India, who actually dealt with EDS on a day-to-day basis, by using a validated and pre-tested questionnaire having three point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics was used to interpret the result. The results obtained as per the study showed that most of the respondents agreed to the positive role of EDS in documentation and reporting. They also had very positive perception about the role of EDS in clinical practice as well. Only area where they still have doubt seems to be in ensuring confidentiality of patient’s information; where only 44% agreed and 30% chose to remain neutral. The satisfaction level of the respondents was found to be high with EDS usage. When probed about the barriers in EDS usage, almost 40% of the participants reported facing problem during data entry. The reasons were attributed to as 66% had not received initial training in using EDS and about 73% had encountered some problem related to screen layout, result, menus etc. More than 76% of the respondents wanted a National Standard for EDS which they thought will go a long way in standardizing the EDS and making it more acceptable. There is an overall satisfaction about the usage of EDS and also the overall perception about the usefulness of EDS is good among the respondents, but majority of them felt the need to have a National Standard for EDS.


Keywords: electronic discharge summary, perception, satisfaction, medical students

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