A Randomized Cohort Controlled Trial to Compare Intern Sign-Out Training Interventions

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BACKGROUND:Although previous studies have investigated the efficacy of specific sign-out protocols (such as the illness severity, patient summary, action list, situation awareness and contingency planning, and synthesis by reviewer [I-PASS] bundle), the implementation of a bundle can be time consuming and costly. We compared 4 sign-out training pedagogies on sign-out quality.OBJECTIVE:To evaluate training interventions that best enhance multidimensional sign-out quality measured by information exchange, task accountability, and personal responsibility.INTERVENTION:Four general internal medicine firms were randomly assigned into 1 of the following 4 training interventions: didactics (control), I-PASS, policy mandate on task accountability, and Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA).SETTING:First-year interns at a large, Mid-Atlantic internal medicine residency program.MEASUREMENTS:Eight trained observers examined 10 days each in the pre- and postintervention periods for each firm using a standardized sign-out checklist.RESULTS:Pre- and postintervention differences showed significant improvements in the transfer of patient information, task accountability, and personal responsibility for the I-PASS, policy mandate, and PDSA groups, respectively, in line with their respective training foci. Compared to the control, I-PASS reported the best improvements in sign-out quality, although there was room to improve in task accountability and responsibility.CONCLUSIONS:Different training emphases improved different dimensions of sign-out quality. A combination of training pedagogies is likely to yield optimal results.

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