Clinic handoffs affect a vast number of patients each year. Studies have demonstrated that these handoffs place patients at risk for poor outcomes and discontinuous care. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) stipulates that programs must train residents to be competent in handoff communications in all areas of care. Although much work has been done in the area of inpatient handoffs, there has been little educational work published on clinic handoffs, and few improvement interventions exist. This video and checklist introduce trainees and medical educators to the barriers that interfere with safe clinic handoffs. After identifying these barriers, participants may then reflect on their own practices and identify solutions to improve clinic handoffs in their own institution. The goal of this tool is to make trainees and educators aware of the patient safety risks associated with clinic handoffs and to encourage effective handoff practices to improve patient safety. This tool can assist residency programs to ensure residents are competent in handoff communications in the outpatient setting, as required by ACGME regulations. This resource has been presented as a workshop at a national conference and at four resident didactic sessions in our institution. An evaluation of participants showed that most agreed the workshop would be helpful in carrying out their year-end clinic handoff. Overall, residents enjoyed the workshop, with 85% agreeing the workshop was engaging.
By the end of this resource, learners should be able to:
- List five major cultural, communication, and systems barriers that interfere with successful clinic handoffs.
- Name and describe three patient safety risks posed by clinic handoffs.
- List five potential solutions and strategies to improve clinic handoffs.
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Tranforming Resident Continuity Clinic Handoffs: Risks and Opportunities. Workshop presented at: SGIM Annual Meeting; May 2012; Orlando, FL.
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