Impact of a Standardized Patient Hand-off Tool on Communication between Emergency Medical Services Personnel and Emergency Department Staff

Joseph K. Maddry, Erica M. Simon, Lauren K. Reeves, Alejandra G. Mora, Melissa A. Clemons, Nicole M. Shults, Shelia Savell, Alexis Blessing, Benjamin D. Walrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Handoff communication between Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Emergency Department (ED) staff is critical to ensure quality patient care. In January 2016, the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) implemented MIST (Mechanism, Injuries, vital Signs, Treatments), a standardized EMS to ED handoff tool. The En route Care Research Center conducted a Pre-MIST implementation survey of ED staff in December 2015 and a Post-MIST follow-up survey in July 2017 to determine the impact of the MIST handoff tool on the perceived quality of transmission of pertinent patient information and in the overall handoff experience. Methods: We administered a nine-item Likert scale questionnaire to Brooke Army Military Medical Center (BAMC) ED providers and nurses before and after implementation of MIST. The questionnaire captured perceived competence and satisfaction with handoff communication (Cronbach’s alpha 0.73). We analyzed responses for the total sample and by occupation (providers and nurses), and we calculated odds ratios to determine items that may be most predictive of a positive handoff experience from the perspective of the ED staff. We performed chi-square tests and reported data as percentages. Results: Total respondents Pre- and Post-MIST were 128 (62%) nurses and 80 (38%) providers (MDs, DOs, and PAs). Following the implementation of MIST, more respondents reported that they were "informed of prehospital treatments" (p < 0.001), that "Red/Blue Trauma Alert Criteria were conveyed” (p < 0.001), and that the "time to give the report was sufficient to convey pertinent information” (p < 0.001). Nurses more frequently reported that "Red/Blue Trauma Alert Criteria were conveyed" post-MIST (p < 0.01). Providers more frequently reported that "Assessment findings were conveyed" (p < 0.05), that they ‘interrupted the report for clarification" (p < 0.04), that "time to give the report was sufficient to convey pertinent information" (p < 0.001) and that they "felt positive about the overall handoff experience" (p < 0.03) Post-MIST. Overall satisfaction with the handoff was associated with frequently being informed of prehospital treatments (OR 5.5; 2.1–14.4) and frequently receiving a copy of the prehospital record (OR 2.9; 1.1–7.2). Conclusions: These data demonstrate that providers and nurses reported an improvement in the handoff experience Post-MIST. This study supports the use of a standardized handoff tool at this critical step in patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-538
Number of pages9
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emergency department
  • emergency medical services
  • patient handoff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency

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