University of Nebraska Medical Center

Handoff to Communicate Risk

A handoff is a transfer of information and responsibility for the care of the patient. It requires effective communication skills from both parties to ensure continuity of care and safety for the patient. It may occur between members of the same profession (e.g. nursing shift change), but also between members of different professions (e.g. nursing and rehabilitation therapy). While handoffs typically include a multitude of information about the patient, it is important to include information about falls for those patients at risk.

Handoff Education

Print Resources

  • Handoffs for Patient Safety: This Sentinel Event Alert from the Joint Commission provides an overview of the importance of effective handoffs and suggestions for successful handoffs.

Handoff Tools

  • TeamSTEPPS Handoffs: Various types of handoffs are discussed in the communication section of the TeamSTEPPS curriculum from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Warm Handoffs: The Warm Handoff resources available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality can be used to design handoffs that include the patient and family.