Ensuring patient safety in care transitions: an empirical evaluation of a Handoff Intervention Tool.

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Ensuring patient safety in care transitions: an empirical evaluation of a Handoff Intervention Tool.

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2012;2012:17-26

Authors: Abraham J, Kannampallil T, Patel B, Almoosa K, Patel VL

Abstract
Successful handoffs ensure smooth, efficient and safe patient care transitions. Tools and systems designed for standardization of clinician handoffs often focuses on ensuring the communication activity during transitions, with limited support for preparatory activities such as information seeking and organization. We designed and evaluated a Handoff Intervention Tool (HAND-IT) based on a checklist-inspired, body system format allowing structured information organization, and a problem-case narrative format allowing temporal description of patient care events. Based on a pre-post prospective study using a multi-method analysis we evaluated the effectiveness of HAND-IT as a documentation tool. We found that the use of HAND-IT led to fewer transition breakdowns, greater tool resilience, and likely led to better learning outcomes for less-experienced clinicians when compared to the current tool. We discuss the implications of our results for improving patient safety with a continuity of care-based approach.

PMID: 23304268 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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