Table 5

 Suggested improvements for written sign-out

Category (n)Sub-category (n)Sample comments (n = 20)*
*More than one category and sub-category mapped to these 20 distinct suggestions for improvements.
Patient content (13)Code status (3)The code status would be helpful.” (C2)
Anticipated problems (4)A great IF/then section which is really important to troubleshoot problems.” (C9)
Active problems (4)It would be helpful to have a specific section that chronicles cross-cover events in prior nights.” (P9)
Baseline exam (3)In general, neuro status if often not included and a patient has mental status changes so you don’t know what the baseline is.” (P10)
Pending test or consults (4)If they have tests or consults ending, it needs to be pointed out.” (C10)
Overall features (8)Legible (3)Often times you don’t understand what has been written down because it is illegible or incomplete and that is all that you have to go on.” (P4)
Relevant (2)We take up a lot of room on history data that may not be important for cross cover.” (P9)
Accurate (5)Room numbers can be incorrect and then you have to call bed access to find the patient.” (P11)
Updated (4)In general, room numbers and medications are not updated. The worst thing is when things aren’t updated. Last week when I was on call, a patient had written down that I should check q4 hour CBCs. Initially, I did not know that it was left over. I assumed when it wasn’t in the computer, that the CBC was not done.” (P12)