(HealthDay News) — There are no significant improvements in patient outcomes associated with face-to-face handoff of patients admitted to general medical services at a large academic tertiary referral hospital, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Will M. Schouten, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues used a Global Trigger Tool to retrospectively compare clinical outcomes among 805 patients whose care was transitioned with and without face-to-face handoffs.

The researchers observed no significant difference in the frequency of rapid response team calls, code team calls, transfers to a higher level of care, deaths in hospital, length of stay, 30-day readmission rate, or adverse events between patients whose care was transitioned with a face-to-face handoff and those whose care was transitioned without one.

“Additional study is needed to determine the qualities of patient handoff that optimize efficiency and safety,” the authors write.

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