Pediatric Clinics of North America,

No best practices have been identified in the concept of the patient handoff, but standardizing the report and situational briefing techniques such as Situation Background Assessment Recommendation (SBAR) are recommended by the World Health Organization (World Health Organization, 2007). Standardization of patient handoff has been shown to increase communication of crucial information regarding patient care to include previous hospital events and treatment goals for the future (Collins, 2012). The Joint Commission also recognizes standardization as a way to ensure high quality of care and optimize patient safety during handoffs (Arora & Johnson, 2006). Braun (2012) made an affirmation on one of the most critical aspects of patient care, which is a patient handoff. In this regard, standardized forms of communication, such as the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation SBAR technique, were adapted for this purpose.

A systematic review completed by Collins (2011) examined content overlap, artifacts in handoff and the future of electronic health records (EHR) in patient handoffs. The review demonstrated that challenges of creating standardized documentation tools are related to the many types and varieties of patient handoffs. However, when electronic documentation was used successfully, daily workflows were enhanced, and communication between healthcare providers and patient’s quality of care was increased (Collins, 2011).

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