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Handoffs and Transitions Learning Network (2008-2009)

Hospitals in our region have built a strong improvement infrastructure in Intensive Care Units, Emergency Departments, Operating Rooms and now Labor and Delivery Units as participants in Maryland Patient Safety Center and Delmarva Foundation Collaboratives.

Responding to your requests, we leveraged the power of our community to tackle the sticky problem of hand-offs and transitions, with an emphasis on medication reconciliation. This Network’s focus was fully aligned with the IHI 5 Million Lives Campaign and JCAHO National Patient Safety Goals.

We achieved our goal of tapping into the pockets of success, wisdom and experience that already exists in our community and coupled these with access to some of the most forward thinking experts in these topic areas.

One of Learning Network’s unforeseen outcomes was the opportunity to research, collate, and investigate the efficacy of various tools and approaches to handoffs. Because of the dearth of evidence-based practices for improving handoffs, researchers, experts, and others have indicated that improvements garnered from Learning Network hospitals will contribute greatly to the handoffs dialogue. These improvements can be found in the Strategies, Interventions and Tips for Improving Handoffs Report [pdf].

If you would like to learn more about the outcomes on the Learning Network, contact Wendy Gary (

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Support for the Handoffs and Transitions Learning Network is being provided by
Maryland Patient Safety Center and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.