4 Best Practices for Safe Patient Handoffs

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Patient handoffs present a significant patient safety risk, which can be mitigated by following four best practices, according to a white paper by Ingenious Med.

The white paper, "Closing the Safety Gap in Patient Handoffs: Leveraging Technology to Build the Safety Net," is written by Glenn D. Focht, MD, medical director of Boston Children's Hospital. He offers four best practices for ensuring safe patient handoffs:

1. Human resources. Orientation to expected standards, provider training in handoff skills and ongoing feedback and evaluation of handoffs.
2. Medical staff governance. Standardizing expectations as part of credentialing and re-credentialing and building effective sign-outs/handoffs into ongoing professional practice evaluations and focused professional practice evaluations for new providers.
3. Acquisition and use of enabling technology to assist in the work of handoffs.
4. Scheduling of shifts and time for face-to-face handoffs.

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