Medical school handoff education improves postgraduate trainee performance and confidence.

Link to article at PubMed

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Medical school handoff education improves postgraduate trainee performance and confidence.

Med Teach. 2014 Aug 26;:1-8

Authors: Stojan JN, Schiller JH, Mullan P, Fitzgerald JT, Christner J, Ross PT, Middlemas S, Haftel H, Stansfield RB, Lypson ML

Abstract Objectives: Determine postgraduate first-year (PGY-1) trainees ability to perform patient care handoffs and associated medical school training. Methods: About 173 incoming PGY-1 trainees completed an OSCE handoff station and a survey eliciting their training and confidence in conducting handoffs. Independent t-tests compared OSCE performance of trainees who reported receiving handoff training to those who had not. Analysis of variance examined differences in performance based on prior handoff instruction and across levels of self-assessed abilities, with significance set at p < 0.05. Results: About 35% of trainees reported receiving instruction and 51% reported receiving feedback about their handoff performance in medical school. Mean handoff performance score was 69.5%. Trainees who received instruction or feedback during medical school had higher total and component handoff performance scores (p < 0.05); they were also more confident in their handoff abilities (p < 0.001). Trainees with higher self-assessed skills and preparedness performed better on the OSCE (p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides evidence that incoming trainees are not well prepared to perform handoffs. However, those who received instruction during medical school perform better and are more confident on standardized performance assessments. Given communication failures lead to uncertainty in patient care and increases in medical errors, medical schools should incorporate handoff training as required instruction.

PMID: 25155969 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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