A group of resident physicians at Boston Medical Center have been honored with the 2016 John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality, which is presented annually by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, groups that set standards in patient care.
The residents are a part of a patient safety research group at BMC that participates in the I-PASS Study Group, a collection of physicians representing more than 50 hospitals across North America focused on improving patient safety by standardizing provider communication during patient handoffs.
As part of the national study group, the Boston Medical Center Committee of Interns and Residents Quality Council partnered with the Society of Hospital Medicine to identify and train "resident champions" for I-PASS implementation. Residents then applied for grant funding, securing $50,000 over two years for the project.
I-PASS stands for Illness severity, Patient summary, Action list, Situational awareness and contingency planning, and Synthesis by receiver, a set of best practices created to reduce communication failures during patient handoffs that can result in harmful medical errors.
"In a large multi-center study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, implementation of I-PASS was associated with a 30 percent reduction in medical errors that harm patients. An estimated 80 percent of the most serious medical errors can be linked to communication failures, particularly during patient handoffs," the Committee said in a statement.
Handoffs occur when shifts change, or when a patient changes location within the hospital. I-PASS is used by more than 50 hospitals nationwide.