7 critical steps in improving clinical staff hand-offs
This week, the Joint Commission took aim at hand-off communication, the critical passing of key patient information that occurs when clinicians leave at the end of their shift and pass on responsibility for patient care to the next shift.
Communication failures were at least partly responsible for 30 percent of all malpractice claims, and resulted in 1,744 deaths and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs over five years, a 2015 study found. Widespread IT use has not solved the problem. The Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert to provide seven recommendations for hospitals and other healthcare settings to vastly improve hand-offs.