Electronic discharge summary driving advice: current practice and future directions

John Carmody, Michael Carey, Victoria Traynor, Don Iverson


Driving is a complex task. Many older drivers are unaware of their obligation to inform authorities of conditions which may impact upon their driving safety. 
This study sought to establish the adequacy of driving advice in electronic discharge summaries from an Australian stroke unit.
One month of in-patient electronic discharge summaries were reviewed. A predetermined list of items was used to assess each electronic discharge summary: age; gender; diagnosis; relevant co-morbidities; deficit at time of discharge; driving advice; length of stay; and discharge destination.
Of 41 participants, the mean age was 72 years. Twenty patients had a discharge diagnosis of stroke, nine of transient ischaemic attack, four of seizure and one of encephalitis. Of these, only eight discharge summaries included driving advice.
The documentation of driving advice in electronic discharge summaries is poor. This has important public health, ethical and medico-legal implications. Avenues for future research are explored
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