Objectives: To determine the incidence of abbreviation use in electronic hospital discharge letters (eDLs) and general practitioner understanding of abbreviations used in eDLs
Design, setting and participants: Retrospective audit of abbreviation use in 200 sequential eDLs was conducted at Nepean Hospital, Sydney, a tertiary referral centre, from 18 December to 31 December 2012. The 15 most commonly used abbreviations and five clinically important abbreviations were identified from the audit. A survey questionnaire using these abbreviations in context was then mailed to 240 GPs in the area covered by the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District to determine their understanding of these abbreviations.
Main outcome measures: Number of abbreviations and frequency of their use in eDLs, and GPs’ understanding of abbreviations used in the survey.
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