Accreditation

Dealing with physician-to-physician hand-offs

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, February 1, 2007

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Meeting with residents may help gain consistency in the process

After reading this article, you will be able to

1. describe one reason why physician hand-offs are harder than nursing hand-offs

2. list some factors that improve hand-offs

3. describe the benefit of role-playing hand-offs during orientation

4. recall who to involve in streamlining the hand-off process

5. identify one way to begin the process of streamlining hand-offs

Editor's note: The following story first appeared in the January Quality Improvement Report, published by HCPro, Inc.

In 2006, The Joint Commission made hand-offs a National Patient Safety Goal. Although hospitals struggle with nurse hand-offs, the problem is even more difficult among physicians, according to Kurt Patton, MS, RPh, former executive director of accreditation services at The Joint Commission and principal of Patton Healthcare Consulting, LLC, in Glendale, AZ.

"Physicians are doing hand-offs, but with different techniques," says Patton, the author of HCPro's Hand-off Communication."There's no consistency in the process."

He advises meeting with medical residents to determine best practices, "because they're usually adept at hand-offs."

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Briefings on Accreditation and Quality.

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