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Higher death rates associated with routine handoff of patients


​Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found higher mortality rates among hospitalized patients during routine transitions of care from one medical resident to another.
 
The study, published today in JAMA, was led by Dr. Joshua Denson, MD, a fellow in pulmonary and critical care at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
 
Denson and colleagues from New York University Langone Medical Center collected data from 2008 to 2014, and examined 230,701 patient discharges across 10 academic Veteran’s Health Administration Hospitals around the country.
 
They found an absolute increase of between 1.5% and 1.9% in hospital mortality rates among hospitalized patients exposed to end-of-rotation transitions in care between medical residents. This corresponded with 12% to 18% greater odds of death in the hospital for these patients.