Background: Patient transfers from other hospitals within the Ochsner Health System to the main campus are coordinated through a Transfer Center that was established in fall 2008. We analyzed the transfer process to assess distinct opportunities to enhance the overall transition of patient care.
Methods: We surveyed internal medicine residents and nocturnists to determine their satisfaction with transfers in terms of safety, efficiency, and usefulness of information provided at the time of transfer. After a kaizen event at which complementary goals for the institution and members of the study team were recognized and implemented, we resurveyed the group to evaluate improvement in the transfer process.
Results: The preintervention average satisfaction score was 1.18 (SD=0.46), while the postintervention score was 3.7 (SD=1.01). A t test showed a significant difference in the average scores between the preintervention and postintervention surveys (P<0.0001).
Conclusions: By including residents in the transfer calls (a result of the kaizen event), data were collected that facilitated fewer and higher quality handoffs that were performed in less time. In addition, the process resulted in increased awareness of the value of resident participation in institutional quality improvement projects.
Keywords: Care transition; interhospital transfer.