Improving Hand-Off Communication from Primary Care to Emergency Department
AuthorCobbs, Brian W.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA hand-off represents the transfer of patient information and care responsibility between a sending and receiving provider. Hand-offs occur in single locations such as inpatient wards and across care settings like from primary care offices to emergency departments. This care transition quality improvement (QI) project was created to improve patient hand-off communication from a primary care office to a hospital based emergency department within the greater Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area. No uniform hand-off process existed before the QI project. The purpose of the QI project was to demonstrate process necessary to achieve desired outcomes, in this case, a superior patient hand-off. The QI project goal was to develop a standardized hand-off protocol and tool. The aim of this QI project was to replace existing hand-off methods with a formalized new hand-off process and tool used during care transition from a primary care office to an emergency department. QI project methods followed two (2) plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles involving QI team meetings and end-user feedback that iteratively led to the adoption of a standardized hand-off process and tool. PDSA cycle one identified the best handoff tool. PDSA cycle two established an efficient process for conducting hand-offs. The new hand-off tool consistently demonstrated superior information transfer. Program participant satisfaction increased and was reflected by positive feedback as most nurses and doctors embraced the new process.
Degree ProgramGraduate College