A high-quality handoff of the patient can deliver a great outcome in health care services. It can reduce medical errors and prevent disputes from happening between the two parties. However, practicing the handoff requires time, effort, and a set of skills all of its own.
If you are looking for the best way to improve your handoff communication, you will need to learn from an expert. CareAlign, the best provider of nursing handover tools and other relevant solutions, emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-for-all. Individuals must understand how to provide the best handoff communication and service possible given the available resources and conditions.
There is no one centralized solution because we have to deal with the complex health systems in the healthcare industry. However, there are some guidelines or good practices for physicians in training that can improve communication in the health facility setting. Of course, it is for the sake of the patient’s wellness and safety.
The key to a successful handoff result is the high quality of handoff communication. Here are the ways you can consider improving your handoff communication quality.
Don’t interject communication.
There have been many reports where the back-channeling could be a strong cause of the poor quality of handoff. In such a hectic place, we could see that some physicians conduct quick runs through the notes about the patients. During the conversation, they seemed to be affirmative of the information given by the sender of the patient. However, it does not guarantee that they are 100% focused and listening to each other. When back channeling happens, there’s a risk of missing information in the conversation. As the healthcare provider, it is important to make sure that the specialists really comprehend the information transfer. If you are the receiver, you also need to be more proactive and double-check with the sender if they are not giving you the complete information.
Conduct the interviews.
To review the current quality of your healthcare handoff, you could conduct an intern interview with your internal team members. Together with your colleagues, you will be able to identify the root causes of the problem. Therefore, you will understand what went wrong and why the handoff was poor.
The interview’s main objective is to understand the areas for improvement and pitfalls to avoid. Since the topic is handoff communication, your internal interviews should revolve around the mentioned topic. It is the right opportunity to ask questions about the communication errors that happen between your healthcare providers. These miscommunications or misunderstandings can be harmful to patients. Through the open discussion with your internal team members, you are able to find the feedback process to determine the key issues. Therefore, you can steer clear of the problems and improve the handoff communication for good.
Check if the sign-out processes are clear.
The sign-out process can be different from one program to another. Each healthcare provider might have their own unique sign-out process. However, the overall objective of the sign-out is to update the information. Therefore, the most effective sign-out processes are those that are accurate and updated. It is highly crucial to keep the patients’ information updated.
Adding video cues to handoff solutions
In many cases, the visual cues are important for clarifying many things in the handoff process. You will want to confirm that the handoff process is done without flaws.
Offering face-to-face interaction, you will be able to conduct verbal exchanges with your partners although you are away from the hospital. While physicians might have different means of communication, the most preferred Patient Handoff Tool nowadays is still face-to-face. When it is not possible because of different locations or other situations, you could use a video conference tool to procure the same communication procedure.
Provide the necessary patient information.
When it comes to the handoff, you must think about the kind of information you need to care for the particular patient right now. Here, there is no need to offer long details of the personal life of the patient. Some doctors run through every review system to find out what they think. Well, that’s wasting your time and energy. For the sender, it is important to isolate the most relevant information, which you can use right now to treat your patients well. For the receiver, it is okay to be proactive and ask as many questions as you need, as long as they are all relevant to your handoff patients.
It does not hurt to exercise a bit of if-then and to-do. When the team has such a formula, it will be much easier to handoff.
Understand the limits of caregivers
In the field of work, clinical tasks are popularly known as the causes of fatigue. There are some familiar tasks that can be done quickly. But when it comes to the handoff, one could hit a certain point in the difficult weighing. The decision-making can be a bit tricky there. The challenges will be multiplied when the caregivers in the hospital are already tired. Fatigue can affect how you care. Therefore, it is important to make sure that everyone on board is fit and healthy.
Pay attention to the handoff level of threats.
Some handoffs are simple since the patent conditions are not life-threatening. But there are also some high-risk handoff agendas that you need to pay attention to. When the patient is moving, they are critical or unstable. These patients usually have worse conditions, where a slight mistake could end their lives. The high-risk handoff usually comes with a lot of pressure. To improve the communication in handoff, one could make use of the template so that they can focus on treating their patients. Understand the levels of treats in every handoff. Each handoff is important.
Therefore, it is also a great idea to access a wide array of resources to improve the model procedures and skills. Consider taking a look at the tips above when you want to improve the handoff communication quality. You could also use the tools to help you improve the handoff quality.
Get more information at CareAlign.