Clinical Acuity Shorthand System: a standardized classification tool to facilitate handoffs.
BACKGROUND: The handoff of medical information from one provider to another can be inefficient and error prone, potentially undermining patient safety. Although several tools for structuring handoffs exist, none provide a brief, standardized framework for ensuring that patient acuity is efficiently and reliably communicated. We aim to introduce and perform initial testing of the Clinical Acuity Shorthand System (CLASS) (Copyright 2015, Duke University. All rights reserved.) for surgery, a patient classification tool intended to facilitate efficient communication of key patient information during handoffs. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Surgical trainees at a single center were asked to perform an exercise involving application of CLASS to 10 theoretical patient scenarios and to then complete a brief survey. Responses were scored based on similarity to target answers. Performance was evaluated overall and between groups of trainees. Time required to complete the exercise was also determined and perceived utility of the system was assessed based on survey responses. RESULTS: The study task was completed by 17 participants. Mean time to task completion was 10.3 ± 8.4 min. Accuracy was not decreased, and was in fact superior, in junior trainees. Most respondents indicated that such a system would be feasible and could prevent medical errors. CONCLUSIONS: CLASS is a novel system that can be learned quickly and implemented readily by trainees and can be used to convey patient information concisely and with acceptable fidelity regardless of level of training. Further study examining application of this system on clinical surgical services is warranted.
Gilmore, BF; Brys, AK; Nath, NS; Barfield, M; Rialon, KL; Truong, T; Pomann, G-M; Migaly, J; Mosca, PJ
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