The "Handoff" Are We Missing an Opportunity?

June 24, 2011
As medical care becomes more and more complicated and more care providers are involved in more settings the patient “handoff” becomes a critical

As medical care becomes more and more complicated and more care providers are involved in more settings the patient “handoff” becomes a critical component of safe medical care. Our electronic medical records up to now seem focused on the prevention of medication errors and CPOE while giving this critical element little direct attention.

Admittedly, increased access to information improves patient handoffs, but the medical record has the potential to do much more. The Department of Defense has created a comprehensive and thoughtful toolkit to improve the transition in care. It is not only a must-read for physicians and hospitals, but it creates a roadmap for software developers to greatly enhance the present state of the EMR.

Specifically, the challenge is to provide accurate patient information about a care plan, treatment, services provided, current condition, and any recent or anticipated changes in a patient's condition. The greatest opportunity occurs at the change of nursing shifts, physician transfer of complete responsibility for a patient, physician's transfer to on-call physicians, communication between specialists, communication between hospital units, and communication with nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and physician’s offices.

Clearly, there are non-electronic remedies that should be initiated in our present environment, but we should be harnessing the EMR to pull in appropriate data, display it in an intuitive and thoughtfully designed format, and make it available to the appropriate caregivers at the point of transitions.

Use this link to download the reference:

You can delegate authority, but not responsibility.

Stephen W. Comiskey

Sponsored Recommendations

Care Access Made Easy: A Guide to Digital Self-Service for MEDITECH Hospitals

Today’s consumers expect access to digital self-service capabilities at multiple points during their journey to accessing care. While oftentimes organizations view digital transformatio...

Going Beyond the Smart Room: Empowering Nursing & Clinical Staff with Ambient Technology, Observation, and Documentation

Discover how ambient AI technology is revolutionizing nursing workflows and empowering clinical staff at scale. Learn about how Orlando Health implemented innovative strategies...

Enabling efficiencies in patient care and healthcare operations

Labor shortages. Burnout. Gaps in access to care. The healthcare industry has rising patient, caregiver and stakeholder expectations around customer experiences, increasing the...

Findings on the Healthcare Industry’s Lag to Adopt Technologies to Improve Data Management and Patient Care

Join us for this April 30th webinar to learn about 2024's State of the Market Report: New Challenges in Health Data Management.