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A Piece of My Mind
December 3, 2008

Teach Us How

JAMA. 2008;300(21):2463-2464. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.767

It is a typical evening on an inpatient medicine ward in the middle of July. A new patient arrives on the floor, after a 10-hour wait in the emergency department. The medical team on call begins admitting their new charge. It is a frustrating, inefficient process that involves receiving sign-out from the ED, querying multiple computer systems, waiting for bed assignment, entering admission orders, and assembling paper charts from pieces shuttled from all corners of the hospital. It is an even more frustrating, and potentially dangerous, process for the patient.