Critical Communication: A Cross-sectional Study of Signout at the Prehospital and Hospital Interface.
2020; 12 (2): e7114
Introduction Miscommunication during patient handoff contributes to an estimated 80% of serious medical errors and, consequently, plays a key role in the estimated five million excess deaths annually from poor quality of care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Objective The objective of this study was to assess signout communication during patient handoffs between prehospital personnel and hospital staff. Methods This is a cross-sectional study, with a convenience sample of 931 interfacility transfers for pregnant women across four states from November 7 to December 13, 2016. A complete signout, as defined for this study, contains all necessary signout elements for patient care exchanged verbally or in written form between an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a physician or nurse. Results Enrollment of 786 cases from 931 interfacility transfers resulted in 1572 opportunities for signout. EMTs and a physician or nurse signed out in 1549 cases (98.5%). Signout contained all elements in 135 cases (8.6%). The mean percentage of signout elements included was 45.2% (95% CI, 43.9-46.6). Physician involvement was correlated with a higher mean percent (63.4% [95% CI, 62-64.8]) compared to nurse involvement (23.6% [95% CI, 22.5-24.8]). With respect to the frequency of signout communication, 63.1% of EMTs reported often or always giving signout, and 60.5% reported often or always giving signout; they reported feeling moderately to very comfortable with signout (73.7%) and 34.1% requested further training. Conclusions Physicians, nurses, and the EMTs conducted signout 99% of the time but often fell short of including all elements required for optimal patient care. Interventions aimed at improving the quality of patient care must include strengthening signout communication.
View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.7114
View details for PubMedID 32140371
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7047340
A profile of traumatic injury in the prehospital setting in India: A prospective observational study across seven states.
BACKGROUND: Traumatic injury continues to be a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC). The World Health Organization has called for a strengthening of prehospital care in order to improve outcomes from trauma. In this study we sought to profile traumatic injury seen in the prehospital setting in India and identify predictors of mortality in this patient population.METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study of a convenience sample of patients using a single emergency medical services (EMS) system for traumatic injuries across seven states in India from November 2015 through January 2016. Any patient with a chief complaints indicative of a traumatic injury was eligible for enrollment. Our primary outcome was 30-day mortality.RESULTS: We enrolled 2905 patients. Follow-up rates were 76% at 2 days, 70% at 7 days, and 70% at 30 days. The median age was 36 years (IQR: 25-50) and were predominately male (72%, N=2088), of lower economic status (97%, N=2805 used a government issued ration card) and were from rural or tribal areas (74%, N=2162). Cumulative mortality at 2, 7, and 30 days, was 3%, 4%, and 4% respectively. Predictors of 30-day mortality were prehospital abnormal mental status (OR 7.5 (95% CI: 4-14)), presence of hypoxia or hypotension (OR 4.0 (95% CI: 2.2-7)), on-scene mobility (OR 2.8 (95% CI: 1.3-6)), and multisystem injury inclusive of head injury (OR 2.3 (95% CI: 1.1-5)).CONCLUSIONS: EMS in an LMIC can transport trauma patients from poor and rural areas that traditionally struggle to access timely trauma care to facilities in a timeframe consistent with current international recommendations. Information readily obtained by EMTs predicts 30-day mortality within this population and could be utilized for triaging patients with the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.injury.2019.11.020
View details for PubMedID 31761424