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This study examines what patients' admission to and discharge from hospital means for nurses in their relations with patients. The study focuses on the rights of patients and the rights and duties of nurses working in a general hospital and in the community. The ‘information standard’ is introduced, consisting of three conceptions: informed consent, informed referral and informed discharge. Indepth interview have been conducted with patients (n=11) and nurses (n=22) to elucidate views on and personal experience of the admission and discharge process, in relation to the information standard. The interviews have been analysed by means of qualitative research methods. The results show that patients did not complain about the admission and discharge process, and that they were not informed about the information exchange between nurses working in hospital and in the community. In addition, community nurses were often not informed about a patient's admission to hospital. Nursing programmes for home care were arranged by community nurses and hospital nurses without co-ordination, resulting in unsuitable nursing care.