Study: Standardized handoff improves outcomes

Utilizing a standardized handoff during discharge from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility significantly decreased the wait time for patients to receive prescriptions for controlled medications and IV antibiotics, a study found. An inpatient, 50-bed, post-hospital skilled nursing care unit conducted the study; participants included all 32 staff nurses. After six weeks of using the new handoff tool, the SNF decreased the wait time of prescription availability by 79% for controlled medications, with an associated 53% reduction in late administration. It decreased the wait time by 94% for IV antibiotics, with a 78% reduction in late administration. The authors believe other SNFs can implement the handoff to improve communication, medication management and patient transition from the hospital. (Patient Safety Network article, 1/25/23)