Both the ACGME and JCAHO require that patient transitions be monitored and managed. This year, the ACGME has added far-reaching changes to the Common Program Requirements which govern all residency programs, regarding patient transitions of care (handoffs) and faculty/attending supervisory responsibilities during transitions. Patient Transitions are also one of the six focuses of the CLER Program – Clinical Learning Environment Review. And, with resident duty hours being cut, especially for interns who can now only work a maximum of 16 hours, handoffs are more frequent than ever.
The ACGME states: “Sponsoring institutions and programs must ensure and monitor effective, structured handover processes to facilitate both continuity of care and patient safety. Programs must ensure that residents are competent in communicating with team members in the handover process”. Read more here about the ACGME’s New Standards for Transitions of Care: Discussion and Justification. And in 2006 the Joint Commission added transitions in patient care to its National Patient Safety Goals, referencing the need for ‘‘a standardized approach to hand-off communications, including an opportunity to ask and respond to questions.’’
e-Handoff satisfies both ACGME and JCAHO requirements by providing a central, easily accessible system that standardizes handoff communications. Attending information is included at the top of every patient list so that residents and nurses can easily see whom to contact on any particular shift or team. e-Handoff also provides handoff reports by organization, program, team and user for aggregating and reporting patient transitions or encounters.