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Improving Transitional Care: The Role of Handoffs and Discharge Checklists in Hematologic Malignancies

Mariah Prince
Deborah H. Allen
Sarah Chittenden
Joey Misuraca
Marilyn Hockenberry
CJON 2019, 1-7 DOI:
Background: Transitional care from inpatient to outpatient settings is a high-risk time for medical errors and missed follow-up appointments. Discharge checklists and handoffs are effective tools that lead to improved quality of care and outcomes.
 
Objectives: The purpose of this project was to implement an evidence-based discharge checklist and handoff template to improve and standardize transitional care from the hospital to home for patients with hematologic malignancies.
 
Methods: The advanced practice providers (APPs) completed the discharge checklist at least 24 hours prior to discharge. The APPs requested appointments through the electronic health record using the discharge handoff tool. Chi-square analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.
 
Findings: Implementation of the discharge checklist resulted in a statistically significant increase in the number of patients who had a follow-up appointment scheduled prior to discahrge. The discharge handoff tool standardized communication between inpatient and outpatient providers.