This study aimed to assess practices in emergency department (ED) handoffs as perceived by emergency medicine (EM) residency program directors and other senior-level faculty and to determine if there are deficits in resident handoff training. This cross-sectional survey study was guided by the Kern model for medical curriculum development. A 12-member Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Transitions in Care task force of EM physicians performed these steps and constructed a survey. The survey was distributed to the CORD listserv. There were 147 responses to the anonymous survey, which were collected using an online tool. At least 41% of the 158 American College of Graduate Medical Education EM residency programs were represented. More than half (56.6%) of responding EM physicians reported that their ED did not use a standardized handoff. There also exists a dearth of formal handoff training and handoff proficiency assessments for EM residents.
Keywords: handoff; shift change; sign-out; transfer of care; transitions in care.
© 2013 by the American College of Medical Quality.