Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus

Writing TTOs

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 14 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:s66
  1. Jennifer Hall, senior house officer
  1. General Infirmary, Leeds

The TTO (to take out), also known as the TTA (to take away), is a form that should be completed for all patients being discharged from hospital. It both summarises the patient's hospital stay for their general practitioner and acts as a prescription to order the drugs they need to take home with them. Here are some tips on filling in the TTO form.

  • All information should be legible and accurate

  • If possible, complete the TTO the day before the patient is discharged. That way there is no delay in getting the patient's tablets from pharmacy

  • Use a ballpoint pen and press hard so that the information is transmitted by carbon copy to all the pages

  • Check the patient's details. If you are using addressograph labels, remember to put a sticker on each of the pages

  • Document the ward, consultant's name, and the GP's name and address

  • Document the dates the patient was admitted and discharged

  • Record the diagnosis

  • List the investigations performed and the results (briefly)

  • List any treatments or procedures (including the date they were performed)

  • Highlight any changes to drugs

  • Document any treatment on discharge

  • Write names of drugs to be taken after discharge in capital letters

  • Spell out the plan on discharge and any follow up arrangements—for example, date of appointment in outpatient clinic

  • Document where the patient has gone—for example, discharged to nursing home

  • Document any allergies to drugs

  • Ensure enough drugs are given (for example, to last over a holiday period)

  • Prescribe dosages of controlled drugs in numbers and words, with the total dose to be dispensed

  • Sign your name and then print it and give your bleep number in case the GP needs to contact you

  • Record on the front of the drug chart and in the patient's notes when TTOs have been written to avoid duplication by on-call doctors

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