Using the Targeted Solutions Tool® to Improve Emergency Department Handoffs in a Community Hospital.

Link to article at PubMed

Using the Targeted Solutions Tool® to Improve Emergency Department Handoffs in a Community Hospital.

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016;42(3):107-18

Authors: Benjamin MF, Hargrave S, Nether K

BACKGROUND: There is little evidence for solutions to improve the handoff process between units, particularly from the emergency department (ED) to the inpatient unit. A systematic approach was used to improve the handoff communication process between the ED and the four private physician groups serving Juneau, Alaska, that admit and deliver care to patients of a 73-bed, Level 4 trauma center community hospital.
METHODS: Data were collected in using the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare's Targeted Solutions Tool ®(TST ®) to determine the rate of defective handoff communications and the factors that contributed to those defective handoff communications. Targeted solutions were then implemented to specifically address the identified contributing factors.
RESULTS: A random sample of 107 handoff opportunities was collected during the baseline phase (November 4, 2011- January 12, 2012) to measure performance and identify the contributing factors that led to defective handoffs. The baseline handoff communications defective rate was 29.9% (32 defective handoffs/107 handoff opportunities). The top four contributing factors, together accounting for 69.8% of all the causes of defective handoffs, were inaccurate/incomplete information, method ineffective, no standardized procedures for an effective handoff, and the person initiating the handoff, known as the "sender," lacks knowledge about the patient. After implementation of targeted solutions to the identified contributing factors, the handoff communications defective rate for the "improve" phase (April 1, 2012-July 29, 2012) was reduced from baseline by 58.2% to 12.5% (13 defective handoffs/104 handoff opportunities), p = 0.002; 2-proportions test. The number of adverse events related to hand-off communications declined as the handoff communications defective rate improved.
CONCLUSION: Use of the TST was associated with improvement in the ED handoff communication process.

PMID: 26892699 [PubMed - in process]

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