Transforming Healthcare

SynopSIS: Integrating physician sign‐out with the electronic medical record




Safe delivery of care depends on effective communication among all health care providers, especially during transfers of care. The traditional medical chart does not adequately support such communication. We designed a patient‐tracking tool that enhances provider communication and supports clinical decision making.


To develop a problem‐based patient‐tracking tool, called Sign‐out, Information Retrieval, and Summary (SynopSIS), in order to support patient tracking, transfers of care (ie, sign‐outs), and daily rounds.


Tertiary‐care, university‐based teaching hospital.


SynopSIS compiles and organizes information from the electronic medical record to support hospital discharge and disposition decisions, daily provider decisions, and overnight or cross‐coverage decisions. It reflects the provider's patient‐care and daily work‐flow needs.


We plan to use Web‐based surveys, audits of daily use, and interdisciplinary focus groups to evaluate SynopSIS's impact on communication between providers, quality of sign‐out, patient continuity of care, and rounding efficiency.


We expect SynopSIS to improve care by facilitating communication between care teams, standardizing sign‐out, and automating daily review of clinical and laboratory trends. SynopSIS redesigns the clinical chart to better serve provider and patient needs. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2007;2:336–342. © 2007 Society of Hospital Medicine.