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Presented at Quality/Improvement and Patient Safety.



With increasing regulations from the ACGME for resident work hours, the number of patient care hand-offs inevitably rises. Work hour restrictions have the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of medical mistakes related to excessive fatigue only if the transitions of care are do not create further errors as a result of miscommunication. For this reason, transitions of care must be thorough and complete, yet efficient as patient care must not cease during these hand-off periods.

At Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery service has both a full inpatient census and consult census. Given the trend of increased number of hand-offs, in addition to the inherent complexity of many of our head and neck cancer patients, we assessed the transitions in patient care that take place on our service every day.