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Invited Commentary
September 2016

The Search for Better Patient Handoff Tools

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(9):1402-1403. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4263

Transfer of care of patients from one physician to another—referred to as the handoff—is a period laden with vulnerabilities. Miscommunication during handoffs is one of the most common preventable sources of adverse events in the hospital. Since 2003, when resident duty-hour restrictions were implemented in the United States, handoffs have become more common. Efforts to make handoffs uniform, usually involving standardized sign-outs, have improved safety1-3 and have become widely accepted.

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