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This article is the author's final published version in Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.Global research & reviews, Volume 7, Issue 12, December 2023, Article number e23.00208.

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Standardized handoff tools improve communication and patient care; however, their widespread use in surgical fields is lacking. OrthoPass, an orthopaedic adaptation of I-PASS, was developed in 2019 to address handoff concerns and demonstrated sustained improvements across multiple handoff domains over an 18-month period. We sought to characterize the longitudinal effect and sustainability of OrthoPass within a single large residency program 3.5 years after its implementation. This mixed methods study involved electronic handoff review for quality domains in addition to survey distribution and evaluation. We conducted comparative analyses of handoff adherence and survey questions as well as a thematic analysis of provider-free responses. We evaluated 146 electronic handoffs orthopaedic residents, fellows, and advanced practice providers 3.5 years after OrthoPass implementation. Compared with 18-month levels, adherence was sustained across five of nine handoff domains and was markedly improved in two domains. Furthermore, provider valuations of OrthoPass improved regarding promoting communication and patient safety (83% versus 70%) and avoiding patient errors and near misses (72% versus 60%). These improvements were further substantiated by positive trends in Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Surveys on Patient Safety Culture hospital survey data. Thematic analysis of free responses shared by 37 providers (42%) generated favorable, unfavorable, and balanced themes further contextualized by subthemes. At 3.5 years after its introduction, OrthoPass continues to improve patient handoff quality and to support provider notions of patient safety. Although providers acknowledged the benefits of this electronic handoff tool, they also shared unique insights into several drawbacks. This feedback will inform ongoing efforts to improve OrthoPass.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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