As part of the development of integrated, patient-based hospital information technology (IT) systems in the South-Western Region of England, a module has been developed which will hold core data pertaining to the functional status and current resources of elderly or disabled patients Its purpose is to assist early identification of unmet needs and facilitate prompt transfer to community care The module provides a shared database, which is completed or updated as necessary on admission and is then available to all appropriate users of the hospital system, avoiding duplication of data collection In addition to details of home circumstances and support, it includes brief, standardized assessment scales for activities of daily living and mental state, which will identify the need for specialist referral A summary is provided for easy communication with other care agencies