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The researchers who studied patient handoffs at 23 children’s hospitals found an alarmingly high baseline rate of handoff failure: 25.8% of the handoffs were insufficient or inaccurate.
Twenty-three children’s hospitals evaluated 7,864 handoffs over the study period, which was 12 months. (For more information and access to the full study, see http://tinyurl.com/m56avmq.)
In the final intervention period, handoff-related care failures decreased from the baseline 25.8% to 7.9%. Significant improvement was observed in every handoff type that was studied. The changes raised the common understanding about the patient from 86% to 96%, having a clear transition of responsibility rose from 92% to 96%, and minimizing interruptions and distractions increased from 84% to 90%.
Overall satisfaction with the handoff went from 55% to 70%. The study’s authors made the conclusion that the implementation of a standardized evidence-based handoff process can result in a significant decrease in handoff-related care failures, observed across all types of handoffs.