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Increasing patient safety with neonates via handoff communication during delivery: a call for interprofessional health care team training across GME and CME

Authors Vanderbilt AA, Pappada SM, Stein H, Harper D, Papadimos TJ

Received 7 December 2016

Accepted for publication 4 May 2017

Published 7 June 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 365—367


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Allison A Vanderbilt,1 Scott M Pappada,2 Howard Stein,3 David Harper,4 Thomas J Papadimos5

1Department of Family Medicine, 2Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Toledo, 3Department of Pediatrics, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital, 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ProMedica Toledo Hospital, 5Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine and the Life Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA

Abstract: Hospitals have struggled for years regarding the handoff process of communicating patient information from one health care professional to another. Ineffective handoff communication is recognized as a serious patient safety risk within the health care community. It is essential to take communication into consideration when examining the safety of neonates who require immediate medical attention after birth; effective communication is vital for positive patient outcomes, especially with neonates in a delivery room setting. Teamwork and effective communication across the health care continuum are essential for providing efficient, quality care that leads to favorable patient outcomes. Interprofessional simulation and team training can benefit health care professionals by improving interprofessional competence, defined as one’s knowledge of other professionals including an understanding of their training and skillsets, and role clarity. Interprofessional teams that include members with specialization in obstetrics, gynecology, and neonatology have the potential to considerably benefit from training effective handoff and communication practices that would ensure the safety of the neonate upon birth. We must strive to provide the most comprehensive systematic, standardized, interprofessional handoff communication training sessions for such teams, through Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education that will meet the needs across the educational continuum.

Keywords: interprofessional health care teams, handoffs, neonates, patient safety, communication

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