Title

Medical school handoff education improves postgraduate trainee performance and confidence

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Journal

Medical Teacher

Volume

37

Issue

3

DOI

10.3109/0142159X.2014.947939

Abstract

© 2015 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted Objectives: Determine postgraduate first-year (PGY-1) trainees ability to perform patient care handoffs and associated medical school training. Methods: About 173 incoming PGY-1 trainees completed an OSCE handoff station and a survey eliciting their training and confidence in conducting handoffs. Independent t-tests compared OSCE performance of trainees who reported receiving handoff training to those who had not. Analysis of variance examined differences in performance based on prior handoff instruction and across levels of self-assessed abilities, with significance set at p<0.05. Results: About 35% of trainees reported receiving instruction and 51% reported receiving feedback about their handoff performance in medical school. Mean handoff performance score was 69.5%. Trainees who received instruction or feedback during medical school had higher total and component handoff performance scores (p<0.05); they were also more confident in their handoff abilities (p<0.001). Trainees with higher self-assessed skills and preparedness performed better on the OSCE (p<0.05). Conclusions: This study provides evidence that incoming trainees are not well prepared to perform handoffs. However, those who received instruction during medical school perform better and are more confident on standardized performance assessments. Given communication failures lead to uncertainty in patient care and increases in medical errors, medical schools should incorporate handoff training as required instruction.

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