A press release issued in conjunction with the study's publication states that medical errors in hospitals such as diagnostic delays, preventable surgical complications and medication overdoses are leading causes of death and injury in the U.S. An estimated 80 percent of the most serious medical errors can be linked to communication between clinicians, particularly during patient hand-offs.
I-PASS was designed with the goal of improving patient safety and reducing or eliminating the most common source of medical errors through improved provider-to-provider communication. I-PASS consists of:
- Standardized communication and hand-off training
- A verbal hand-off process organized around the verbal mnemonic "I-PASS" (Illness severity, Patient summary, Action list, Situational awareness and contingency planning, and Synthesis by receiver)
- Computerized hand-off tools to share patient information between providers using an I-PASS structure
- Engagement of supervising attending physicians to observe and oversee hand-off communications
- A campaign promoting the adoption of I-PASS as part of institutional process and culture
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