Research Paper on Effective Handoff Communication

Published: 2023-01-16
Research Paper on Effective Handoff Communication
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Communication Medicine Healthcare Public health
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1509 words
13 min read


Handoff refers to the effective transfer of essential information and health care responsibilities to patients from one nurse or other health experts to another. Breakdown in communications is among the top most cause of errors that usually arise in the medication process. In most occasions, adults attend to hospitals with several severe disorders that need proper medication techniques incorporated with consistent use of health informatics technologies to obtain positive and desirable patient outcomes.

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However, it is not an easy task to adopt the strategies in the Medical Centre, as one is required to follow a reasonable procedure of convincing all the parties in the hospital set up and make them understand the importance of the suggested opinion, over the current method of undertaking operations. Since handoff is defined as the change of shift of various responsibilities between the health providers and the patients, it is, therefore, it's essential to communicate the idea to the supervisors, nurses and other health professionals available in the healthcare unit, patients and their families as well (Ernst et al., 2018).

How to Best Convince the Supervisors, Nurses and Patients

One of the best methods to convince these three stakeholders of the medication process is by making them understand the basics and need for the suggested suggestion of implementing effective handoff system of work in the hospitals.

Supervisors, CEO, and Other Health Officers

To begin with the health supervisors and the CEO for the health organization, it is imperative to note that, these are the financers of all the project ongoing in the hospital. Earlier research and results concerning the need for better communication strategy in the process of handoff in the hospital would be of great help in this section. Previously, reports indicated that about 70% of the medical errors resulted due to lack of better communication strategies. This is errors that can be prevented, to enhance the efficiency of the services offered and most importantly secure their information.

With an increasing application of inferior quality handoff methods in healthcare, the chances of losing the critical patients information become very dominant, more so during the actual transition process. To solve this problem, there should be a systematic way of patient's data transition of information that eventually results in a patient's safety. In regards to this, it is also essential to let the leading staff know that, the main aim of many healthcare institutions is to provide high quality healthcare and have a system that safeguards the patient's critical pieces of information, thus leading to patient safety. This will also enable the organization to compete favorably with other similar healthcare organizations.

One of the intervention plans to effectively convince the supervisors and the CEO to adopt the changes, is offering finance to the project (Sarver et al., 2015). The funding would be used to train the nurses and other health workers, to ensure that most of them that take part in the transition duties while attending to the adult patients have all the relevant pathophysiology skills, to avoid occurrences of errors during medication.

As earlier stated, the leaders must understand, that adult patients are usually characterized with severe disorders that need experienced nurses to attend to them if there is need to ensure the safety of the information that is passed from one provider to the other. Having experienced workers will lead to the implementation of standardized approaches to handoffs, which can finally enhance the whole process of promoting the level of patient's safety in regards to their critical information being handled by the health providers.

Peer Professionals, Nurses, and Other Health Providers

Nurses and other team members providing health services are very critical people to consider if at all any adjustment is to be made in a health organization. They are the central players who take instructions from the heads, e.g., the supervisors and the CEO, and applies them directly while doing the medication process to achieve the aims, goals, and objectives of the health organization.

First, it is crucial to make them know as to why it is essential to attend to the training services on a part-time basis. This is essential because the majority will be able to undertake various operations in healthcare activities and make it easy to have many experts who can be involved in the handoffs. During the handoff process, the receiving providers are customarily left with the information from the patients, to make them continue with the same medication. The success or effectiveness of this handoff process can be affected by factors such as the complexity or type of information, methods of communication between the two health providers and levels of knowledge and skills by the providers.

Because all these factors are health-providers related, it is important to adjust accordingly to prevent future mistakes in the handoff process to increase the level of patient safety. Previous studies indicate that for instance, when doing surgical procedures for the adult patients, nursing staff and other in disciplinary team members may need to do the handoff of care more than three times for one single patient (Sarver et al., 2015). The information, therefore, becomes at higher risks of manipulation since, for the providers to understand one another and ensure that outcome matches with the knowledge that the patient provided initially on the symptoms or any other feelings are maintained, proper communication skills must be applied. For this reason, in the training sessions, the health organization will not only train the nurses on how to diagnose and treat various disorders in adult patients alongside understanding the patient factors accordingly, but will also include communication skills as one of the essential courses in order to adjust accordingly and ensure that whenever handoff occurs, the information is safely secured without any loss, at it may lead to inadequate medication. World health report also ascertains that adults are typically characterized by lower immunities ("World Health Organization, "2015). As a result, any significant change in their body organs is likely to result in severe effects, like loss of lives.

Patients and Families

Patients and families are also another set of key players in the hospital. They are one and among the significant determiners of the organizations' image, especially on the outside environs. Granting them with proper and maintain their information safety is therefore very paramount as it will influence and answer the question of how many patients attends to the Medical Centre for a specified duration, weekly, monthly or annually.

Passing the information to the patients on the possible plans of the patient's safety adjustments will, therefore, help the patients to change their way of thinking, especially, if there are a set of patients that had lost confidence with the healthcare (Bourgault, 2019). The patients must be promised that in future, the healthcare providers will have to carry out effective face-to-face communication verbally, and more preferably writing the essential bits in paper for reference, and taking adequate time to ensure that, all the information that the patient provided to the first provider are all transferred to the successor correctly. The intervention that will be used in the whole process is offering of training services, by other hired healthcare professionals.

However, it is essential to reveal to the patients that the training will finally lead to the introduction of electronic health models (EHR). The electronic health models can store the patient's health records electronically, such that, when handoff takes place, the receiving provider is just required to check on the progress and continue with the process which is also provided with the EHR models (Judd & Sackett, 2016). The models will thus eliminate errors that human beings could have caused in the entire process of the handoffs.


In conclusion, with the financial assistance from the leadership board of the health department, that is the supervisors and the CEO, nurses, professional and other health providers will be able to attend to the training sessions which will provide lessons on the various diagnosis and treatment techniques, on the adult patients disorders like the chronic disease which actually requires much attention. Most importantly, the training will also introduce the use of electronic health record models, and with this advancement, medical errors shall remain to be a history and the patient information will also be secured to its most appropriate levels.


Bourgault, A. M. (2019). Are Patients and Family Members an Essential Aspect of Bedside Handoff? Retrieved from

Judd, D. M., & Sackett, K. M. (2016). Evidence Leveling: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Choice for Perceived Nursing Benefit, Usability, Acceptance, and Satisfaction. Retrieved from

Ernst, K. M., McComb, S. A., & Ley, C. (2018). Nursetonurse shift handoffs on medical-surgical units: A process within the flow of nursing care. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(5-6), e1189-e1201.

Sarver, W., Cichra, N., & Kline, M. (2015). Perceived benefits, motivators, and barriers to advancing nurse education: Removing obstacles to improving success. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(3), 153-156. Retrieved from,_Motivators,_and_Barriers_to.4.aspx

World Health Organization. (2015). World report on aging and health. World Health Organization.

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