Nursing

Ask the expert: Monitoring hand-off effectiveness

Nurse Leader Insider, January 4, 2010

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This week, Kurt Patton, MS, RPh, discusses patient hand-offs and how to monitor staff effectiveness.

Q: What are some strategies to help monitor the effectiveness of patient hand-offs during my nurses' change-of shifts?

A: We traditionally think of compliance monitoring in terms of doing audits of medical records. We are programmed early in our healthcare careers to look for documentation. Although that is important if your hand-off process requires a form, it is more important at the onset to physically listen and observe the hand-off process in action. Doing so will enable you to make a qualitative assessment of how well your process is working:

  • Talk with the staff to make sure they understand the value of the hand-off process and that they give it the time and energy it deserves

To read other strategies for monitoring the effectiveness of patient handoffs, click here.

Editor’s note: Do you have a question for our experts? E-mail your queries to Editorial Assistant Sarah Kearns at skearns@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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