Boston researchers find way to cut medical errors

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BOSTON (AP) -- Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital say they have devised a new system of shift-to-shift patient handoffs that significantly reduces medical errors.

The researchers announced Tuesday that after introducing the system on two inpatient units at the hospital, they found that preventable errors declined by more than half over three months.

The researchers trained doctors on team-based communication strategies and introduced an acronym to help them remember key points to cover when discussing patients. They encouraged people to gather as a team, and to discuss patient care together in a quiet space, rather than the busy hallway.

The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/18hwKde ) reports that the researchers are now studying the new procedure at nine pediatric centers around the country, with a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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