Johns Hopkins publishes list of practices to facilitate better patient handoffs

October 22, 2008

Transferring the care of a patient from one caregiver to another has always been a sore spot for hospitals. The Joint Commission has included patient handoffs as a part of its National Patient Safety Goals for years, and recently there has been increased attention paid to the number of hours residents are working, leaving room for additional handoffs. Physicians at Johns Hopkins Hospital have developed a list of items that will facilitate surgical sign-outs, reports The Wall Street Journal Health Blog.

The list, which appears fully in the Archives of Surgery, suggests that there be a few standardized protocols, such as what happens if a patient needs to be transferred to a higher level of care and knowing who the resident on call is in case that person needs to be reached. Also, the list suggests that there be enough time for doctors to sign their patients out of their care and explain to the next provider what he or she needs to know about the patient.

To read the posting, click here.