Journal Article

Association of a web-based handoff tool with rates of medical errors.

Mueller SK, Yoon C, Schnipper JL. JAMA internal medicine. 2016;176:1400-2.

Handoffs have been associated with adverse clinical events, largely due to communication failures. Studies have shown that implementing a standardized handoff bundle and providing communication training can both improve patient safety. In this prospective cohort study, investigators introduced a web-based handoff tool and provided formal training for health care workers in adult medical and surgical units. They found a statistically significant decrease in the rate of medical errors, particularly errors caused by communication failures and handoff mistakes. This study suggests that a web-based standardized tool may help mitigate errors associated with current handoff practices, especially errors that result from poor communication. A PSNet interview discussed standardization of handoffs.