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Montefiore in the News

November 25, 2008

"Ticket to Ride" Ensures Vital Patient Information is Communicated Effectively

New York City, NY (November 24, 2008) - As part of a hospital-wide initiative focusing on patient safety, a new program has been introduced by Montefiore Medical Center to facilitate seamless communication of essential information between nurses, transporters and technicians during transport of  patients throughout their hospital stay.

Named for the popular Beatles song, the "Ticket-to-Ride" project requires a "ticket" for all non-critical inpatients being transported to and from testing, treatment or OR areas. Information includes patient's condition, language, allergies and necessary precautions. For example, patients being sent from the Emergency Department to Radiology, must have a ticket completed with this information before moving. The ticket is a collective responsibility with different sections that must be filled out by each department.

"This initiative provides another opportunity for us to ask and respond to questions concerning our patient care," said Jason Adelman, MD, patient safety officer. "Our multi-disciplinary patient safety team helped to design the ticket with information about the patient's current condition and any anticipated changes, as well as information about a patient's belongings such as whether a patient has eyeglasses or a hearing aid."

Sue McAllen, RN, Quality Management, added: "The Ticket to Ride initiative allows Nursing to safety transport patients to routine testing and treatment areas. All disciplines take part in ensuring that vital patient information is communicated effectively.

"Standardization of this hand-off process will contribute to a safe environment and maintain delivery of quality care to all patients."

The Joint Commission, an independent organization that accredits hospitals nationwide, reports that 70% of serious incident cases were caused by lack of communication. Nearly half of these communication breakdowns occurred when responsibility for a patient was passed from one caregiver to another. The commission's National Patient Safety Goals require hospitals to implement a standardized approach to "hand-off" communications with an opportunity to ask and respond to questions.