An analysis of team checklists in physician signout notes.
Patient Care Team
Academic Medical Centers
Teams of physicians in the hospital collaboratively maintain checklists in informal "signout" documents to help organize, manage, and hand off critical patient-based tasks. We created an application within our commercial EHR that supports basic management of these checklists at two urban, academic medical centers. We collected and analyzed over 400,000 checklist tasks created in the application. We calculated the frequencies of terms and term-combinations (n-grams) in these lists, and compared these data with a previously described clinical task model. Our findings provide evidence for the generalizability of the original clinical task model, and provide the foundation for a more sophisticated physician checklist utility. This could contribute to improved efficiency and safety in patient care.