Mobile physician reporting of clinically significant events-a novel way to improve handoff communication and supervision of resident on call activities

J Patient Saf. 2014 Dec;10(4):211-7. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e31829952ff.


Objectives: Reporting of clinically significant events represents an important mechanism by which patient safety problems may be identified and corrected. However, time pressure and cumbersome report entry procedures have discouraged the full participation of physicians. To improve the process, our internal medicine training program developed an easy-to-use mobile platform that combines the reporting process with patient sign-out.

Methods: Between August 25, 2011, and January 25, 2012, our trainees entered clinically significant events into i-touch/i-phone/i-pad based devices functioning in wireless-synchrony with our desktop application. Events were collected into daily reports that were sent from the handoff system to program leaders and attending physicians to plan for rounds and to correct safety problems.

Results: Using the mobile module, residents entered 31 reportable events per month versus the 12 events per month that were reported via desktop during a previous 6-month study period.

Conclusions: Advances in information technology now permit clinically significant events that take place during "off hours" to be identified and reported (via handoff) to next providers and to supervisors via collated reports. This information permits hospital leaders to correct safety issues quickly and effectively, while attending physicians are able to use information gleaned from the reports to optimize rounding plans and to provide additional oversight of trainee on call patient management decisions.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone
  • Communication
  • Computer Communication Networks*
  • Computers
  • Female
  • Hospital Information Systems*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Patient Harm*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Physicians
  • Quality Improvement