Safe and Effective Patient Handoffs
Stangle, Alexis M., 1999--
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The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations reported that poor communication is a contributing factor in more than 60% of all hospital adverse events. Poor communication is found in many different healthcare settings and is especially prominent in-patient hand-offs and settings where fast and effective management is indispensable. It is estimated that roughly 1.6 million handoffs typically occur each year within hospitals. Ineffectiveness of handoffs leads to progressive information degradation and is characterized by omissions and inaccuracies in the information shared among healthcare providers. Consequently, they are recognized as a major contributing factor to sentinel events and medical errors. To overcome these barriers, communication strategies are desirable, which take little time and effort to complete, deliver comprehensive information efficiently, encourage interprofessional collaboration and limit the probability of error. The purpose of this study is to lay out the best practices for safe and effective handoffs in a hospital setting. The literature reveals that a standardized patient handoff protocol is effective in mitigating risk associated to patient handoffs within the healthcare system.