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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 24(6); 2013 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2013;24(6): 762-770.
Assessment of Intershift Handoff in Emergency Medicine Training Hospitals in Korea
Seong Jun Park, Sang Jin Lee, Sung Eun Kim, Chan Woong Kim, Dong Hoon Lee
Department of Emergency Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. sj_lee@cau.ac.kr
Shift work is inherent to emergency medicine practice. However, the intershift handoff between emergency physicians has been identified as a high-risk area for medical errors. We evaluated the current handoff processes in an emergency department in Korea and the attitudes of emergency medicine residents toward the need for standardized guidelines.
A questionnaire survey was conducted on emergency medicine residents working in training hospitals (one resident per hospital) in Korea. The questionnaire asked about the current handoff method, whether there was a standardized handoff format, and asked residents on their experiences and opinions about the handoff practice.
A total of 29 emergency medicine residents responded to the survey. A majority of hospitals were found to have no uniform handoff format in their emergency department (26 hospitals, 90%). In addition, only a small number of hospitals had an educational program for intershift handoff (7 hospitals, 24%). A large majority of responders (97%) reported experiencing medical errors related to handoff.
There is currently a significant lack of handoff format or educational programs on intershift handoff in Korean emergency medicine training hospitals. Further research and effort for the establishment of effective standardized handoff and training programs are strongly needed.
Key words: Emergency medicine, Patient handoff, Patient handover, Hospitals, Teaching
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