Sign Out – the process in healthcare where patients are handed over to the next person/team taking care of them. The term is inclusive to all healthcare professionals, not only to physicians; nurses, pharmacists, case-workers, social workers, and several others all practice the art of “signing out” to each other.
It’s a critical process. One must accurately summarize who/what/why the patient is here, keeping the sign out simple enough so that the next person isn’t flooded with irrelevant information, but thorough enough so the whole story can be well understood, and so good decisions can be made.
Morning sign outs are particularly interesting. All of the activity, labs, studies, and data that had occurred in the last 24 hours are assessed, and the plan for a new day is formulated. Most major medical decisions happen during the day, so the morning sign out is often the launching point for the rest of the day’s events.
As a society, there is a large divide between the world of medicine and science and that of the greater public. Often, the relationship between the two is strained and distrustful. This endeavor aims to bridge that divide.
As with a sign out, we hope to turn science and medicine into something understandable for our readers, with enough critical information that leaves them more knowledgeable than before.