Standardizing and Evaluating Transitions of Care in the Era of Duty Hour Reform: One Institution's Resident-Led Effort.
BACKGROUND: Compliance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education duty hour standards may necessitate more frequent transitions of patient responsibility. INTERVENTION: We created a multidisciplinary Patient Safety and Quality Council with a Task Force on Handoffs (TFH), engaging residents at a large, university-based institution. METHODS: The TFH identified core content of effective handoffs and patterned institutional content on the SIGNOUTT mnemonic. A web-based module highlighting core content was developed for institutional orientation of all trainees beginning summer 2011 to standardize handoff education. The TFH distributed handoff material and catalogued additional program initiatives in teaching and evaluating handoffs. A standard handoff evaluation tool, assessing content, culture, and communication, was developed and "preloaded" into the institution-wide electronic evaluation system to standardize evaluation. The TFH developed questions pertaining to handoffs for an annual institutional survey in 2011 and 2012. Acceptability of efforts was measured by program participation, and feasibility was measured by estimating time and financial costs. RESULTS: Programs found the TFH's efforts to improve handoffs acceptable; to date, 13 program-specific teaching initiatives have been implemented, and the evaluation tool is being used by 5 programs. Time requirements for TFH participants average 2 to 3 h/mo, and financial costs are minimal. More residents reported having education on handoffs (58% [388 of 668] versus 42% [263 of 625], P < .001) and receiving adequate signouts (69% [469 of 680] versus 61% [384 of 625], P = .004) in the 2012 survey, compared with 2011. CONCLUSIONS: Use of a multispecialty resident leadership group to address content, education, and evaluation of handoffs was feasible and acceptable to most programs at a large, university-based institution.
Boggan, JC; Zhang, T; Derienzo, C; Frush, K; Andolsek, K
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