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Comment & Response
April 2015

Metrics for Evaluating the Quality of Handovers—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Division of General Internal Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):655. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8024

In Reply Abraham and colleagues raise important points regarding the challenge of developing metrics to evaluate the clinical consequences of incomplete handover communication,1 based on an impressive body of research focused on handover communication in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting.2,3 We developed our measurement approach with a specific goal to quantitatively measure how often on-call residents fail to handover on-call issues to the daytime physician team. This approach involved direct observation of morning handover communication to determine the proportion of clinically important issues (identified via real-time medical chart review) handed over by the on-call resident. Unfortunately, our approach did not allow us to determine whether these omissions actually resulted in patient harm or delays in care provision.

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