New Tools for Patient-Based Interventions in Primary Care
AHRQ’s Warm Handoffs patient intervention strategy, part of the agency’s Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families, is a new set of tools for patient interventions in primary care. Warm Handoffs move conversations between members of the healthcare team from outside the exam room into the exam room to engage the patient. A warm handoff is verbal communication conducted between two members of the healthcare team, during transitions of care, in front of the patient (and family if they are present). This safety check strategy allows patients the opportunity to validate and verify information being exchanged between members of the healthcare team, and may improve clinical outcomes. Access the Implementation Quick Start Guide for this intervention and other related tools and resources here.
The Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families is a compilation of evidence-based best practices for improving patient safety through patient, family, and caregiver engagement. This comprehensive guide provides primary care practices with four strategies that they can adopt to improve patient safety. A practice may choose to adopt one or all of the strategies. The four strategies and the materials to support adoption of each are:
Teach-back is a technique for health care providers to ensure that they have explained medical information clearly so that patients and their families understand what is communicated to them. This intervention includes several materials to support adoption:
- Teach-Back Implementation Quick Start Guide (available in full page and brochure format) (PDF File, 429 KB)
- Teach-Back Interactive Learning Module for Clinicians and Practice Staff (Flash)
- Teach-Back Clinician Job Aid (full page) (PDF File, 38 KB) and Teach-Back Clinician Job Aid (4x6 pocket card) (PDF File, 68 KB)
- Teach-Back: A Guide for Staff (poster/handout format) (PDF File, 384 KB)
- A Patient’s Guide to Teach-Back (poster/handout format) (PDF File, 1.3 MB)
- Teach-Back Conviction and Confidence Scale (PDF File, 441 KB)
- Are You Using Teach-Back? Survey (PDF File, 153 KB)
Additional AHRQ resources on Teach-Back include:
- Use the Teach-Back Method, Tool 5 of the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit
- Using the Teach-Back Technique from the SHARE Approach Toolkit, which contains resources on shared decisionmaking
Be Prepared To Be Engaged
This toolkit will help patients and their families prepare for and become more fully engaged in their medical appointments—to be ready for the appointment, to speak up, to ask questions, to take notes. Tools are also available for clinicians and practice staff to encourage and reinforce patient preparation and engagement.
- Patient Prep Card (PDF File, 194 KB)
- Patient Note Sheet (PDF File, 196 KB)
- Be Prepared Patient Information Poster (PDF File, 517 KB)
- Be Prepared Staff Information Poster (PDF File, 2 MB)
- Be Prepared Clinician Information Poster (PDF File, 2 MB)
- Be Prepared Quick Start Guide (letter size [PDF File, 483 KB] and brochure size [PDF File, 366 KB])
Additional AHRQ resources include:
Medication management is a strategy for engaging with patients and caregivers to create a complete and accurate medication list using the brown bag method. A complete and accurate medication list is the foundation for addressing medication reconciliation and medication management issues. These tools will also help to identify risks for an adverse drug event, such as overdosing, underdosing, or missing medications, or other important contextual factors limiting adherence.
- Implementation Quick Start Guide (letter size [PDF File, 469 KB] and brochure size [PDF File, 388 KB])
- Medication List (PDF File, 73 KB)
- Patient Reminder Card (postcard size [PDF File, 114 KB], business card size, [PDF File, 27 KB])
- Patient Fact Sheet (PDF File, 326 KB)
- Common Barriers to Medication Adherence (clinician job aid: letter size [PDF File, 54 KB], clinician job aid: 4x6 size [PDF File, 44 KB])
- Sample Process for Medication Management (PDF File, 133 KB)
- Staff Procedure (PDF File, 176 KB)
- Staff Checklist (PDF File, 94 KB)
A warm handoff is a transfer of care from one clinician to another, where the handoff occurs in front of the patient and family. This transparent handoff of care allows patients and families to hear what is said between clinicians and engages patients and families in communication, giving them the opportunity to clarify or correct information they provided or ask questions about their care.
- Implementation Quick Start Guide: Warm Handoff (brochure size [PDF File, 387 KB]; letter size [PDF File, 457 KB])
- Design Guide for Implementing Warm Handoffs (PDF File, 162 KB)
- Guide for Clinicians (PDF File, 129 KB)
- Guide for Staff (PDF File, 134 KB)
- Patient’s Guide (PDF File, 339 KB)
- Staff Checklist (4” x 6” [PDF File, 61 KB]; letter size [PDF File, 86 KB])
Additional implementation and evaluation guidance will be provided with the final release of the Guide in early 2018.
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Page last reviewed March 2017
Page originally created October 2016
Page originally created October 2016