When responsibility for an individual patient is transferred within or between groups of medical professionals, a “handoff” occurs so that patient-specific medical information can be provided to the medical professional(s) assuming responsibility for that patient. Providing an appropriate summary supports safe, high-quality, effective medical care; inadequate or incorrect information may create risk for the patient. A handoff approach was developed to facilitate this process, using the mnemonic “S*T*A*R*T” (S: situation; T: therapies; A: anticipated course; R: reconciliation; T: transfer). Surveys of handoffs occurring before and after introduction of the S*T*A*R*T system document areas with potential for process improvement.
Deutsch, E.S., Binck, B., Moore, G. and Karsh, B.-T. (2008), "S*t*a*r*t: a great handoff – an approach to effective medical communication in a high-risk environment", Savage, G.T. and Ford, E.W. (Ed.) Patient Safety and Health Care Management (Advances in Health Care Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 241-258. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-8231(08)07011-0
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