What are the expectations under NPSG.02.05.01 for physician-to-physician hand-offs?
A. NPSG.02.05.01 requirement does apply to physicians; it’s not just for nurses and other non-physician staff. The requirement is to standardize the process. It is recognized that the process may be different for different types of hand-offs, so a physician-to-physician hand-off will be different from a nursing change-of-shift report. That said, there still needs to be a standardized process for MD hand-offs. There does not necessarily need to be a policy, but there has to be, in some form, a description of what the “standardized process” is, and that process needs to be communicated to and understood by all those physicians who will be involved in hand-off communication. The process must be done with some reasonable degree of consistency. These processes should be clearly stated in the medical staff procedures and training program. This will be surveyed by asking several physicians what the process is for hand-off communication, such as when signing out one’s patients to a covering ph