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The Web-Based Education of Beginning Interns on Handoffs

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00973635
Recruitment Status : Withdrawn
First Posted : September 9, 2009
Last Update Posted : April 15, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Diane Wayne, Northwestern University

Brief Summary:
A handoff is defined as the transfer of role and responsibility from one person to another in a physical or mental process. Current evidence shows that handoffs between medical providers are both common, and fraught with potential for harm. In spite of these problems, handoff skills are rarely discussed or practiced. Currently, there are few curricula available in the literature regarding the teaching of handoff skills. The purpose of the investigators' study is to develop a curriculum focusing on key handoff safety issues. The investigators plan to create an independent learning tutorial that would be easily administered to all beginning interns (medical subinterns and 2nd month pgy1 medical interns), that would be accessible across multiple sites, that would increase learner knowledge regarding key handoff safety issues, and would improve trainee satisfaction with the handoff process. The investigators' goal is to make this curriculum practical and time efficient. The investigators' hope is that the educational intervention would also have a measurable impact on the quality of patient care.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Medical Interns and Medical Students Other: Web-based education Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 0 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Official Title: The Web-Based Education of Beginning Interns on Handoffs
Study Start Date : July 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2010

Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: Traditional training

Patients of subjects with no detailed curriculum for handoff skills during non-intervention months.

Learners provided a brief outline of how to perform discharge summaries (handout).

Learners given two core articles describing some of the communication issues regarding handoff safety.

Handoff teaching left to discretion of the subintern's team (typically the "see one, do one, teach one" method).

No feedback given to these subinterns on their performance of their handoff skills.

Experimental: Intervention
Group that receives educational intervention.
Other: Web-based education
Patients of subjects who were required to complete 10 web-based, independent learning modules. Each subject given a course packet which includes 13 required "core articles" pertaining to handoff skills. Each subject receives immediate feedback to each web-case with correct answers and suggested readings. Each subject given individualized feedback on their scores for summaries, instructions, and sign outs.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Measurement of the quality of three discharge summaries, selected at random, using standardized content scoring card [ Time Frame: up to 1 year after study ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. re-admission rates and determination of preventability for each re-admission case [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All discharged patients of Sub-interns and Interns

Exclusion Criteria:

  • none
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Responsible Party: Diane Wayne, Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Identifier: NCT00973635    
Other Study ID Numbers: STU00009658
First Posted: September 9, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 15, 2013
Last Verified: April 2013
Keywords provided by Diane Wayne, Northwestern University:
web-based intervention
patient care