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How doctors can avoid perilous patient 'hand offs'

Wall Street Journal (Blog), October 21, 2008

As the medical community debates the merits of the 80-hour limit on residents' work weeks, one challenge that has drawn attention is the patient "hand off." With residents working shorter hours, patients are more frequently transferred from one doctor who is leaving a shift to another who is starting, creating opportunities for miscommunication. But physicians at Johns Hopkins Hospital have developed a list of good surgical sign-out practices to help alleviate the problem.