Process factors of favorable treatment: A grounded theoretical analysis of the warm handoff experience



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The warm handoff is a hallmark feature of integrated health care. Despite the warm handoff’s ubiquity, little research has been conducted on this topic. Existing research primarily focuses on outcomes of the warm handoff, with mixed findings. These findings offer little in the way of describing what takes place in the warm handoff or how the patient experiences this encounter. With scant empirical evidence to support the value of this widely used practice in integrated care, this dissertation seeks to expand the literature on this subject. The primary focus of this study was to identify what contributes to a positive warm handoff experience for patients. Charmaz’s (2014) constructivist grounded theory methodology procedures were used to construct a theory grounded in participant derived data. These data were collected through interviews with 14 participants who experienced a warm handoff within 6 months of the time of their interview. A process model was developed through an analysis of the data that depicts contributing factors to a positive warm handoff experience from the patient’s perspective. This model, the Patient-Focused Warm Handoff Model, is presented in the Findings section of this dissertation. This model, and the general findings of this study, informs practitioners and researchers about factors that are meaningful and important to the patients regarding the warm handoff. This information can be used to direct training and practices around the warm handoff in integrated care settings.



Integrated Care