Why Standardize Sign Out?

“Sign out is the most dangerous procedure in the Emergency Department”

Charles ‘Chaz’ Schoenfeld, MD (1950-2010)

Support for standardizing sign out:

  • Up to 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunication during handoffs (The Joint Commission et al 2005)
  • Up to 24% of ED malpractice claims involve faulty handoffs (Cheung et al 2010)
  • Typical verbal with note-taking style handoffs had high rates of data loss (D. Pothier, et al 2005)
  • Written form with verbal exchange = > minimal data loss (D. Pothier, et al 2005)