Communication distractions derail patient handoffs in ASCs: 7 key notes

Brandon Howard -

Communication errors are a key factor in what can commonly derail patient handoffs in the ASC, according to investigators at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, N.J.

Here are seven key notes, according to the report:

1. Researchers collected audio recordings from 80 ASC handoffs over a six-week period.

2. Distractions and secondary task activity was documented from the audio recordings, and the handoffs were timed for completion of patient care and information exchange.

3. Forty percent of handoffs were associated with communication distraction.

4. Information exchange times were significantly longer in the presence of distractions: 2.3 minutes as opposed to 1.5 minutes.

5. Handoffs with communication distractors were rated lower in overall quality.

6. Nineteen percent of instances saw monitors and equipment to be the most common distractors.

7. Direct patient care, transient staff and patient communication were the next most common distractors, at 16 percent each.

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