How One Hospital Improved Patient Handoffs for the Long Term

By Margaret M. Luciano and Bob Dent
Harvard Business Review
APRIL 30, 2018

Roughly 80% of serious medical errors (now the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer) can be traced to poor communication between care providers during patient handoffs, according to a 2012 Joint Commission report. This makes patient handoffs the most frequent and riskiest procedure in the hospital.

Despite the development of numerous techniques and tools to structure patient handoffs and improve the transfer of communication, we haven’t seen much improvement in reducing medical errors. The problem is two-fold: first, hospital administrators and managers struggle to effectively implement these tools. Second, they struggle to sustain change that is made.

Read more about the hospital that improved patient handoffs in the face of these challenges.