Patient Care Handoffs : Patient Health, Safety, And Happiness
Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing
Patient Care Handoffs
Scope of the Problem
When working in health care there are many responsibilities that need to occur to ensure patients’ health, safety, and happiness. Many of these obligations include informing the patients, making them feel important, and taking precautions when regarding their safety. One major area of importance that has lead to a multitude of patient accidents and problems is what is called patient care handoffs. Patient care handoffs are defined as when “providers exchange information and transfer responsibility for and control over a patient at shift change or when moving the patient from one service or institution to another” (Hilligoss, 2013, para.1). During a patient handoff, information such as medications, vitals, medical history, and many other important factors that contribute to the health of the patient. Patient care handoffs can happen several times within a patient’s stay at the hospital, even if their visit is just within a twenty-four hour period (Berger, Sten, & Stockwell, 2012). Patient care handoffs have contributed to many medical errors and have cost the health care industry millions of dollars; therefore a standardized set of regulations should be enforced throughout every hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, and in home care setting to prevent these incidences.
Applicable Evidence There are various reasons why a patient care…