Warm Handoffs: a Novel Strategy to Improve End-of-Rotation Care Transitions.
J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Aug 14;:
Authors: Saag HS, Chen J, Denson JL, Jones S, Horwitz L, Cocks PM
BACKGROUND: Hospitalized medical patients undergoing transition of care by house staff teams at the end of a ward rotation are associated with an increased risk of mortality, yet best practices surrounding this transition are lacking.
AIM: To assess the impact of a warm handoff protocol for end-of-rotation care transitions.
SETTING: A large, university-based internal medicine residency using three different training sites.
PARTICIPANTS: PGY-2 and PGY-3 internal medicine residents.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Implementation of a warm handoff protocol whereby the incoming and outgoing residents meet at the hospital to sign out in-person and jointly round at the bedside on sicker patients using a checklist.
PROGRAM EVALUATION: An eight-question survey completed by 60 of 99 eligible residents demonstrated that 85% of residents perceived warm handoffs to be safer for patients (p < 0.001), while 98% felt warm handoffs improved their knowledge and comfort level of patients on day 1 of an inpatient rotation (p < 0.001) as compared to prior handoff techniques. Finally, 88% felt warm handoffs were worthwhile despite requiring additional time (p < 0.001).
DISCUSSION: A warm handoff protocol represents a novel strategy to potentially mitigate the known risks associated with end-of-rotation care transitions. Additional studies analyzing patient outcomes will be needed to assess the impact of this strategy.
PMID: 28808863 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]