Assessing the Need for and Developing a Standardized Patient Handover Curriculum for Undergraduate Medical Education




Gajera, Prakash

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BACKGROUND: Improving patient handoff communication is a national patient safety goal; however, few medical schools have standardized handoff training curricula for their medical students. Studies show that a large number of medical students perform handoffs and observe handoff errors during their clerkships [1,2]. This lack of formalized training has a negative impact on medical student perceptions of handoffs [3]. This project assessed the need for handoff education at our institution and developed a curriculum aimed at medical students. IMPLEMENTATION: Clerkship directors were interviewed & preclinical medical students were surveyed for a stakeholder analysis. Prior to starting core clerkships, 200 total students participated in four 1-hour workshops consisting of a 20-minute lecture and three 10-minute handoff scenarios. Trained residents performed the scenarios and led group discussions. Pre- and post-course engagement surveys were used to evaluate the workshop. EVALUATION & OUTCOMES: Clerkship directors desired handoff training before clerkships; however, there was concern that the curriculum would be too advanced. Survey of pre-clinical students showed 71% had heard of standardized patient handoffs, but 94% had no training. 75% believed training should be done prior to core clerkships, and 64% believed handoff simulations were the best method for learning. Students scored 10.7% higher on the post-engagement quiz and 98% of students believed they better understood the elements of a good handoff after the workshop. IMPACT & LESSONS LEARNED: Standardized patient handoff curriculum designed for preclinical medical students improved confidence and knowledge about the handoff process. Concerns about creating handoff curriculum for medical students were addressed by focusing on general concepts rather than specific handoff tools and by creating simple handoff evaluation scenarios. Further work will focus on evaluating the impact of this workshop on the handoff experience during clerkships.

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The file named "GAJERA-DISSERTATION-2017.pdf" is the primary dissertation file. Three (3) supplemental PDF files are also available and may be viewed individually.

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