February 14th, 2016

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A Note from the Editor-in-Chief
Authors:  Lawrence D. Devoe, M.D.
  Welcome to the March-April 2014 Editor-in-Chief’s page. This issue will focus on a single article that deals with a vital issue in patient care.
In This Issue:

• Handoff Quality for Obstetrical Inpatients Varies Depending on Time of Day and Provider Type
S. L. Goff, A. Knee, M. Morello, D. Grow and F. Bsat

The authors performed an observational study on the quality of patient care transitions in a major teaching hospital that involved a variety of providers, ranging from nursing staff to attending physicians. They focused particularly on the impact of provider level, time of day and day of the week. The evaluation tool for assessment of quality of care was a recently reaffirmed American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion (No. 517) that presents consensus standards for adequate transition of care from one provider or provider team to another. As the threshold for performing this routine process should be 100% compliance, anything short of that potentially threatens patient safety. Comparable numbers of day-evening and weekday-weekend patient care transitions were observed, mostly performed by residents or nurses. While day of the week appeared to have little impact on patient handoffs, obstetric residents appeared to perform better than their nursing colleagues in meeting the ACOG standards. In addition, it appears that daytime handoffs had a significantly higher level of compliance with handoff standards than did the same process performed in the evening. Finally, and most seriously, fewer than half of the patient handoffs met all of the criteria of the ACOG handoff standards.
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