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Hospital passports require standardisation to improve patient safety and person-centred care for those with intellectual disability
  1. Yona Lunsky
  1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yona Lunsky, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario M6R 1A1, Canada; yona.lunsky{at}

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Commentary on: Northway R, Rees S, Davies M, et al. Hospital passports, patient safety and person-centred care: a review of documents currently used for people with intellectual disabilities in the UK. J Clin Nurs 2017;26:5160–5168.

Implications for practice and research

  • Standardised tools are needed to improve communication about the needs of patients with intellectual disability (ID) and increase their safety.

  • The tension between maintaining person centredness in tools (patient need) and keeping information standardised and simple (provider need) must be balanced to design a common tool.

  • Research is needed on the most critical content areas to be explored with tools and how to achieve buy-in across hospitals to utilise standardised tools.


Improving patient provider communication and safety is crucial for people with ID, as they are more likely to have recurrent emergency visits1 and die preventable deaths2 because of poor healthcare received. The …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.