Evaluation of a paramedic student patient hand-off curriculum using simulation
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Even though patient handoffs are at high risk for errors and adverse events, there is not a standardised approach to how these should be taught to paramedic students. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing a lecture-based training involving the IMIST-AMBO mnemonic in paramedic education.
Paramedic students were randomised into a control group of standard national paramedicine curriculum and an intervention group who received an additional EMS patient handover lecture including IMIST-AMBO protocol. Outcomes were measured through simulation exercises, with learners randomised to either a low-fidelity tabletop or high-fidelity mannequin-based session.
There were three paramedic student teams in each arm of the study. There were no statistical differences in the reporting of any of the IMIST-AMBO components or the total number reported between the control and the intervention group. The intervention group took significantly longer to give their patient handoff: 78.2 s versus 49.2 s.
The formal education on patient handoffs was successfully implemented. There was a trend toward more data being reported in the intervention group but this came at the cost of a significantly longer report.
We were able to successfully implement formal education on patient handoffs but the small size of the study limited the ability to evaluate its effectiveness. Patient handoffs are a high-risk area in medicine and more studies are needed to determine the most effective way to teach this to paramedic students.
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