Of course they do but when?
Also do computer systems normally process letters, store any structured content such as any actions in the letters?
What I suspect happens, if a discharge letter arrives at a gp practice, it gets stored and will be read when the patient next sees the gp. Any actions would be processed then.
However if it is a referral, the referral is actioned and the letter is read when needed.
Does this sound reasonable?
Why I’m asking:
From a technical perspective I can send a discharge notification as two ways: a letter and a notification. The letter contains the notification, so technically I dont need to send a discharge notification, the notification is also in the letter and the letter is a requirement. However if the discharge letter contains an action such as ‘review asthma medication’, should that be in the letter or should it be sent separately?
I think the principle I’m seeing is INFORMATION such as letters shouldn’t be used to pass ACTIONs (notifications?), they would record them. ACTIONS can contain or refer to INFORMATION (letters).
So if an ED sees the need for an asthma review, they send that as an ACTION, the discharge is sent as a NOTIFICATION and these are all sent as part of the discharge letter (INFORMATION).