Handling Handoffs

Abstract:Patient transfers are a critical point in the care continuum. If done poorly, they can jeopardize patient care and treatment outcomes. Proper handoffs require systematic communications of specific patient information to avoid negative results. Analysis of transfers within a 450-bed hospital complex showed an average of 175 patient handoffs daily. Lean Six Sigma tools were used to investigate patient transfers and develop an improved system. Key stakeholders’ input was gathered and four essential elements were identified: the system must use communication tools within the electronic health record (HER), handoff communications must be complete within 15 minutes, units must be notified of patients’ estimated time of arrival, and transfers must be documented in the EHR. A range of locational and process parameters were identified and distilled to five future state flows. Implementing the improved flows followed multi-channel staff training, and the effectiveness of the new protocol is …

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Thank you for this past issue Quality Progress article. I plan to use this as a hyperlink as attachment in a Health Law and Ethics college student CTU online classroom discussion.
--Sherry King, 04-24-2020

--M. Weisberg, 09-15-2016

Thanks for great article on hand-offs. Plan to use the strategy in pricing contract hand-offs from sales to customer service and ensuring contract accuracy from agreement step to ERP system entry and any subsequent changes to the contract.
--Danna Zylka, 09-03-2016

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