Implementation of the Hand–off Communication Tool Name Institution Implementation of the Hand–off Communication Tool Introduction Patient safety has been a matter of concern to many healthcare personnel. Handoffs are essential part of clinical practice and play a great role in improving communication between healthcare personnel…
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They typically occur during shift changes. Inadequate communication has been cited as a major cause of medical errors (Reisenberg, Leitzsch, & Cunningham, 2010). Researchers who were exploring the causes and nature of human error in intensive care settings found out that verbal communication between nurse and physicians contributed to 37% of medical errors (Reisenberg, Leitzsch, & Cunningham, 2010). In an Australian study, more than 14,000 admissions were investigated. The study revealed that approximately 17% of the cases had an adverse event closely associated to it. Among the 17% of the cases, 11 percent were attributed to communication errors (Reisenberg, Leitzsch, & Cunningham, 2010). According to TRICARE (2005), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires that institutions of healthcare ought to implement a standardized approach to handoff communications in an effort to meet the ever growing need of patient safety. Current Scenario The current tool in use has been associated with a number of delays. Nurses would file reports indicating that beds were not ready; patients missed their medication, nurses themselves not being ready and the absence of vital patient information. A questionnaire was submitted to healthcare personnel in an effort determine the cause of the delays. ...
In other clinical nursing scenarios, many errors have been identified that have resulted from communication problems. For instance omission of critical information as a result of poor communication between healthcare personnel, miscommunication that has results in misunderstanding of information, inability of the receiving nurse to contact the ongoing nurse due to communication problems, use of communication tools like reports that often become too routine and result in loss of focus by many healthcare personnel (Ong, &Coiera, 2011). Other problems arising due to absence of standard communication procedure include idle chatting during handoffs that dilutes the importance of handoffs, illegible handwriting in reports, reports with judgmental statements, absence of research on handoffs and data that is in support of best practices, ethnic, cultural and racial barriers which interfere with communication channels, language barriers that frustrate efforts to communicate effectively, and staff who resist change that comes with implementation of new routines (Reisenberg, Leitzsch, & Cunningham, 2010). Implementation I pass the baton is a technique that was designed with a primary purpose of streamlining the handoff process and have a well established and standardized means of communication. The main idea behind the use of this tool is to minimize information loss and more importantly ensure that exchange of information occurs in a timely manner and with a high level of accuracy. The culture and needs of a healthcare institution often dictate how the technique will be utilized. I pass the baton stands for I-introduction, P-patient, A- assessment, S-situation, S-safety concerns, B-background, A-actions, T-timing, O-ownership, N-next. This tool requires that a
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