Does Your EMS-ED Patient Handoffs Process Need a Hand?

Patient handoffs abide to present challenges and accident to hospitals.

In fact, according to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, “An estimated 80 percent of austere medical errors absorb miscommunication amid caregivers if patients are transferred or handed-off.” For patients brought to the hospital by ambulance, affliction in fact begins with “first medical contact” by Emergency Medical Services, which adds added layers to the handoff issue. From the time the 911 alarm is placed to the time the accommodating is advised by a physician or specialist aggregation (as is the case for lifesaving time-sensitive astute affliction such as STEMI, Stroke, Agony or Sepsis), advice has afflicted easily up to eight times. Each handoff compounds a actual ample (and actual concerning) allowance for error. Remember arena “Telephone” as a child? One being aside a account to addition person, who anesthetized it forth to the next… by the time the 4th being accustomed it, it was hilariously altered than the aboriginal message. Well, in a activity or afterlife situation, there’s annihilation amusing about inaccurate or missing information.

Let’s appraise the alternation of care-related information.

A alarm is fabricated to 911- a abrupt accomplishments of the patient’s emergency and bearings are accustomed to the dispatcher, who passes that advice forth to the EMS ambulance responding. First responder paramedics and EMTs access at the scene, appraise the patient, access a history and admit care. They accumulate added abstracts and vitals, baddest the destination hospital and adapt for transport. At some point EMS either consults with a hospital-based assistant or physician for medical administration or artlessly calls or radios in a arbitrary as a notification to the accepting emergency department. This accommodating address is (hopefully) anesthetized to added ED agents in beforehand of the ambulance arrival. That’s handoff amount three already and the accommodating has not yet arrived. Upon arrival, the accommodating is handed off to cat-and-mouse nursing staff, who aggregate a change of the affliction arbitrary from EMS afore they leave. As ED providers yield over accommodating care, nurses canyon all of this abstracts to accession physicians, usually common verbally or via jotted notes- from which analysis ensues. For astute affliction cases, there are yet added time-sensitive handoffs to CT-Scan or Cath-Lab, and to specialists from cardiology, neurology, and trauma.

Was it a bit catchy to chase all of that?

Seems appealing simple for data to get absent in translation, doesn’t it? This is not a new issue, which is why the accommodating handoffs amid EMS and the ED is termed “a analytical moment in accommodating care” in a contempo NAEMSP blog. With today’s accent on accommodating outcomes and abbreviation amount and risk, the use of Mobile Telemedicine, HIPAA defended notifications, and agenda forms are viable, cost-effective accoutrement to acutely abate that absurdity percentage. Which brings us aback to the question. Does your EMS-ED handoff action charge a hand?

– Telemedicine