Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

  • Publication # 13-RA011

Chart biopsy may improve emergency department handoffs when patients are admitted to the hospital

Patient Safety and Quality

A new practice, the chart biopsy, in which clinicians review a patient’s electronic health record, may improve emergency department (ED) handoffs when patients are admitted to the hospital from the ED. The study authors found that the prehandoff chart biopsy aided clinicians in the general medicine service in three ways: getting an overview of the patient being admitted from the ED; preparing for handoff and subsequent care; and defending against potential biases (e.g., a particular diagnosis becoming established by its use in the ED, without sufficient evidence). In some cases, the prehandoff chart biopsy avoided unnecessary admissions or inappropriate placement of patients. 

The researchers used data from the University of Michigan Health System, including 48 semistructured interviews, 349 hours of observations (146 hours in the ED, 108 hours on the hospitalist service, and 95 hours on the general medicine residency service). This involved a researcher shadowing 46 physicians, talking with many others, and recording 48 telephone handoff conversations between ED physicians and general medicine hospitalists and residents. The study was funded in part by AHRQ (HS18758). 

More details are in "Chart biopsy: an emerging medical practice enabled by electronic medical records and its impacts on emergency department—inpatient admissions handoffs," by Brian Hilligoss, Ph.D., M.S.I.S., and Kai Zheng, Ph.D., in the March 2013 Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 20(2), pp. 260-267.

DIL

Page last reviewed August 2013
Internet Citation: Chart biopsy may improve emergency department handoffs when patients are admitted to the hospital: Patient Safety and Quality. August 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/13aug/0813RA10.html

 

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care