When a patient undergoes medical treatment in a hospital, every healthcare provider generates a documented history of accurate and comprehensive records of their visits. One crucial element of these records is the “Visit Summary.” A visit summary is a concise yet informative document that encapsulates the patient’s medical journey during their stay at the hospital.
In this blog, we will discuss the significance of visit summaries, their components, and the benefits they offer to both patients and healthcare providers.
What is a Visit Summary?
A patient visit summary is a concise clinical report summarizing the care delivered during an outpatient visit. It typically encompasses essential patient information like the reason for the visit, diagnosis, treatment plan, progress, and future follow-up. These summaries serve as a means of communication among healthcare providers and are also shared with patients to maintain their health records.
Key Components of a Visit Summary
- Patient Information:
The visit summary begins with basic patient details, including their name, age, gender, and contact information. This provides context for the entire document.
- Demographics and Vital information:
In patient care, vital information begins with demographics like name and age, followed by vital signs. Chief complaints guide clinical assessments and examinations, leading to investigations and diagnosis. A tailored treatment plan with prescriptions is devised, while nurses and progress notes monitor progress. Discharge instructions ensure a smooth transition from the healthcare facility.
- Admission and Discharge Dates:
Clearly stating the dates of admission and discharge helps in understanding the duration of the hospital stay and the timeframe of medical interventions.
- Medical Diagnosis:
The summary outlines the primary reason for the patient’s visit, including the medical condition or symptoms that prompted hospitalization.
- Treatment Details:
A comprehensive account of the treatments administered, medications prescribed, surgical procedures conducted, and therapeutic interventions undertaken during the stay.
- Test Results:
If any diagnostic tests, laboratory analyses, or imaging studies were performed, the visit summary should include the results, helping healthcare providers make informed decisions.
- Specialist Consultations:
If the patient consulted with various specialists during their stay, these interactions should be documented in the summary.
- Recommendations and Follow-up Plans:
The visit summary outlines the post-discharge care plan, including medication schedules, recommended lifestyle changes, and follow-up appointments.
- Patient Instructions:
Any guidelines or instructions provided to the patient for self-care, wound management, or symptom monitoring are included to ensure continuity after discharge.
How Helpful is The Visit Summary from a Patient’s Point of View?
A study-based survey of patients who visited various outpatient speciality practices aimed to determine the most useful content for visit summaries, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of outpatient clinical visit summaries.
The majority of patients in the study expressed a positive view of the information included in their visit summaries. They found value in retaining it as a form of healthcare documentation (84%) and using it as a convenient point of reference for self-care (70%). The survey indicated that patients particularly found information about test results (91%) and instructions related to their treatment plans (89%) to be highly beneficial. Furthermore, respondents emphasized the significance of being able to access their clinical visit summary information online.
It was evident that most patients utilized the clinical visit summary as a means of healthcare documentation and appreciated having access to it online. Among the aspects highlighted, patients found details about recently conducted tests and specific instructions about their treatment plans to be of great assistance. Interestingly, those who sought additional information after their visit primarily turned to healthcare providers and online resources.
The survey underscored that valued the accessibility of clinical visit summaries, not only as a means of summarizing their care but also as a tool for understanding the next steps in their medical journey. To optimize clinical visit summaries, it could be beneficial to compile and integrate assessments and recommendations from various specialities into coherent care plans that cater to individual patients’ needs.
What is in Ezovion’s Visit Summary?
The integrated Ezovion’s visit summary with the outpatient management system of the hospital management system seamlessly aids healthcare providers in transitioning between care stages. The summary provides medical professionals swift grasp of the patient’s medical history, prevailing condition, and treatment strategy, empowering them to uphold consistent care provision.
The visit summary in Ezovion hospital management system is all about the primitive health record of the patient which includes vitals details, chief complaints, examination, investigation, diagnosis, prescription, and all the detailed instructions from the doctor regarding the treatment plan and the nurse notes.
Our visit summary fosters effective communication among healthcare teams, promoting synchronization among specialists, nurses, and support staff. By accessing the summary, care coordination is upheld, and gaps in treatment are pre-empted.
Here is the sample visit summary generated for a patient via Ezovion HIMS.
Fig. Sample visit summary by Ezovion HIMS (dummy data)*
Benefits of Visit Summaries
1. Visit summaries provide a holistic view of the patient’s treatment journey.
2. Visit summaries empower patients during transitions between healthcare settings, aiding communication with primary care providers.
3. Clear and concise summaries help patients understand their condition, treatment, and follow-up needs, promoting active participation in their health.
4. Accurate documentation reduces the risk of misunderstandings, duplicate tests, or conflicting treatment recommendations.
5. It serves as a roadmap for patients, helping them adhere to prescribed treatments and follow-up appointments.
In the modern healthcare landscape, effective communication and patient engagement are paramount. Visit summaries stand as a vital tool in achieving these goals. They ensure that patients leave the hospital well-informed about their medical journey and the steps for recovery. Prioritizing the creation of comprehensive visit summaries in hospitals leads to improved patient outcomes. It also fosters enhanced collaboration among healthcare providers and contributes to an overall positive healthcare experience.
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Statistical data Source –