Teaching better sign-out

I was watching this video about signouts (I know, I’m really fun at parties). But anyway I was struck by how little training we get on the communications skills aspect of medicine. At my institution we had maybe 2 talks on how to present a patient’s story formally on rounds, and a few of my residents coached me on it, and that was it – I more or less figured it out. (Not to mention that different attendings want different things from med students). Student notes have to be co-signed by a resident, so I did get some feedback on those, although I have to say, it was pretty inconsistent, in that some interns like to do things one way, and some another. But I didn’t get any formal instruction on how to sign out a patient to whoever is cross-covering, and that’s one of the key skills for patient safety.

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2 Comments

Filed under Medical Education

2 responses to “Teaching better sign-out

  1. this is so true, we’ve been told it comes with practice…so that means it’ll suck for a while. we spend so much time on basic sciences we never use, but skip over the important stuff.

    • Liz

      Mochabeanie, absolutely. The problem is practice =/= improvement for everyone judging from some of the sign out I’ve seen. I think there are people who need clear teaching on what the elements of good sign out are and it seems like med school is the place for that before our sign out actually matters.

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