Background and objective Patients' transition from hospital care to their general practitioner (GP) can put them at risk of unforeseen adverse events, which can be minimised by the GP receiving timely access to hospital discharge summaries. The objective of this article was to develop and pilot a discharge summary assessment tool, inclusive of components that Australian GPs identified as being most important for the safe transfer of care. Method Development of the instrument was informed by a literature review pertaining to key components of effective discharge summaries. These components were included in a survey instrument, which was piloted by Australian GP participants. Results From 118 responses, the five highest ranked components of a discharge summary included lists of medications on discharge, diagnoses on discharge, reasons for any changes in medications, and details of follow-up arrangements and treatment in hospital. Discussion This paper describes the initial development and results of piloting an Australian discharge summary quality assessment tool.