Ochsner’s contribution to the National Initiative IV projects—published in the official Proceedings of National Initiative IV—focuses on improving transitions of care between inpatient settings.
Duty-hour restrictions on training physicians have led to an increase in the number of patient handoffs. The Ochsner team identified this as a potential cause of discontinuity in patient care and as a solution set the goal of creating a formalized process for transitions of care.
Baseline surveys from faculty and residents identified patient safety issues that occurred as a result of the existing handoff process. The project steps included designing a written signout template, embedding the template in the electronic medical record, making the template available on iPads and PCs, and conducting interactive didactic sessions for staff and residents.
Postimplementation, follow-up survey results showed a modest improvement in all outcomes. Next steps are systemwide implementation and gathering objective metrics to complement survey results.
Read more about this and other National Initiative IV projects here.