Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H), a large healthcare system located in New England, serves nearly two million patients and employs over 2,000 direct care nurses and 3,000 clinicians. As with any institution, certain checks and balances are in place to ensure patient safety is kept a top priority. After speaking with colleagues and through his own experience, Chief Quality and Value Officer Dr. George Blike found patient handoffs to be an opportunity to strengthen patient safety. Dr. Blike estimated that they could decrease serious safety events organization-wide by 50% by focusing on improving handoff communication and implementing a clinically proven structured bundle
Considering that over 3,000 handoffs happen per day across their inpatient facility, D-H decided to implement a standardized, evidence-based bundle of interventions to improve in-hospital patient handoffs between their clinical staff. However, as a data-driven organization, they wanted to do their due diligence and determine which handoff intervention would best suit their health system.
Their search for communication interventions led them to four unique options. Through benchmarking, literature reviews, and direct experiences, it was determined that I-PASS would bring D-H the most clinical success.
In addition to I-PASS’s ability to improve patient safety, it was also identified that I-PASS could be financially beneficial to the organization. With this in mind, I-PASS champions built a business proposal to share with senior leadership. Included in the proposal were five I-PASS ROI opportunities:
- Reduce Adverse Events: The I-PASS handoff program was projected to reduce adverse events by 1.5/100.
- Lower Diagnostic Decisional Errors: Priming clinicians with the appropriate information would allow for more accurate patient diagnoses.
- Encourage User Adoption: With I-PASS’s versatility, the methodology could work across departments and aid in shift preparedness.
- Ensure Regulatory Compliance: The Joint Commission and the ACGME have both mentioned the need for standardized patient handoffs.
- Reduces Medical Malpractice Liability Exposure: With I-PASS, D-H saw the opportunity to lower medical malpractice cases.
To learn more about why Dartmouth-Hitchcock selected I-PASS as their method of harm-prevention, read the full case study.