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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Interunit handoffs from emergency department to inpatient care: a cross-sectional survey of physicians at a university medical center.

Smith CJ, Britigan DH, Lyden E, et al. Journal of hospital medicine. 2015;10:711-7.

This study examined handoffs from the emergency department to inpatient physicians to identify potential safety challenges. Researchers found that a significant proportion of both emergency medicine physicians and admitting physicians reported handoff-related adverse events, usually associated with communication, and a clear majority believed handoffs negatively impacted patient care. These results demonstrate the ongoing need to improve handoff communication, perhaps through structured communication tools.