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September 1993

Do Primary Care Physicians Prefer Dictated or Computer-Generated Discharge Summaries?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, and Meriter Hospital, Madison.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(9):986-988. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160330076024

• Objective.  —To determine the preference of primary care physicians for computer-generated vs dictated discharge summaries from a neonatal intensive care unit.

Design.  —Survey mailed to primary care physicians.

Setting.  —Regional referral area of a level III neonatal intensive care unit.

Participants.  —Pediatricians and family medicine physicians caring for infants discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit.

Results.  —Of 58 questionnaires sent, 45 (78%) were returned. Overall, 33 physicians (73%) either strongly or mildly preferred the computer-generated discharge summary; eight (18%) had no preference; and four (9%) preferred the dictated discharge summary (P<.001). The category of strongest preference was relevance of information for continued patient care. Preference for type of discharge summary was not significantly influenced by time in practice, type of practice, preference to read or scan summaries, or frequency of computer use.

Conclusion.  —Primary care physicians prefer computed-generated discharge summaries to dictated discharge summaries.(AJDC. 1993;147:986-988)

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