New standardized hand-off procedure reduced late medication administration by 77%

Detroit-based Wayne State University researchers found a standardized hand-off procedure between hospitals to skilled nursing facilities that improved communication and decreased late medication administration.

The study, published in Patient Safety, created a standardized hand-off tool using semi-structured interviews with nurses and observations of hand-offs from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities. The new standardized tool was used for six weeks, after which 101 patient charts were evaluated for the effects of the tool on medication administration.

The wait time of prescriptions' availability during the hand-off decreased by 79 percent for controlled medications and 94 percent for IV antibiotics. Controlled medications also had a 52.9 percent reduction in late administration and IV antibiotics saw a 77.8 percent reduction.

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