Concurrent Sessions

EF3 Patient Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS): Potential for Impact on Primary Care Follow Up

Theme 3. Employing and empowering the patient and caregiver perspective

Presentation Details

  • Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Concurrent Session E & F
  • Time: 10:45am-12:30pm
  • Room:
  • Style: Workshop (session is structure for interaction and/or hands-on learning opportunities)
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  1. Improve knowledge of the patient experience of discharge from hospital and the connection to adherence to primary care follow up.
  2. Provide an overview of patient and family involvement in the design of patient oriented discharge summaries (PODS), including the input of vulnerable populations.
  3. Provide hands-on experience using innovative design thinking methodology and patient-experience mapping to re-think discharge and the link to follow up.


The period following discharge from a hospital is a vulnerable time for patients. Discharge summaries are an increasingly common tool to aid communication between the hospital-based health care providers and the patient’s primary care team.  While some discharge summaries also contain instructions intended for patients to follow when they get home, these are not usually patient-centered. Our team co-developed a patient-oriented discharge summary (PODS) template and guidelines with many patients and families and this initiative is now being rolled out across Ontario. Results from early pilot studies have shown an improvement in understanding and adherence to primary care follow up appointments. Our team is encouraged by those results and feels that there is potential in further integration between PODS and primary care via FHTs. PODS is currently being rolled out at 25 hospitals across all 14 Local Health Integration Networks in Ontario, so this session will be relevant to staff at many FHTs throughout the province. This session will start by sharing insights regarding the patient experience at discharge and patient and family input on PODS. A case study will then be shared, followed by preliminary results and an exploratory discussion of proposed integration between hospitals and primary care using PODS. Lastly, this interactive session will allow attendees to implement this information by guiding groups through patient-experience mapping of the discharge through to follow up process.  We encourage attendees to bring sample discharge summaries from their own patients to aid in the discussion and re-design of patient-centered discharges.


  • Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, OpenLab, University Health Network
  • Tai Huynh, MBA, MDes, Creative Director, OpenLab, University Health Network
  • Dr. Karen Okrainec, MD, Clinician Scientist, University Health Network

Authors & Contributors

  • Dr. Howard Abrams
  • Rasha Kubba