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Ideas That Work: Patient Safety
Information Cards Enhance Patient Handoffs
OSD Staff
Publish Date: November 3, 2015   |  Tags:   Ideas That Work
handoff cards QUICK REFERENCE Handoff cards ensure caregivers hit on the vital clinical information when the responsibility of care shifts.

Patient Safety
Information Cards Enhance Patient Handoffs

Create laminated cards that your caregivers can use at each patient handoff along the perioperative circuit. The cards organize pertinent information in one location, provide a tool that's passed along to the next caregiver to reference and enhance interactive communication between caregivers so nothing falls through the cracks. Plus, the handoff receiver can pay attention to the handoff giver without having to take notes, because she knows she will receive the card as a tool to keep and refer to after the handoff.

You can customize the cards to the specific needs of your facility, but they should contain general information such as the surgeon's name, the procedure and family member contact info in addition to vital information such as the patient's allergies, NPO status, the antibiotics they've received and the availability of blood products in the event of a serious emergency.

To download an example of a handoff card, go to outpatientsurgery.net/forms.

Pegi Wasserman, RN, BSN
Advocate Illinois Medical Center
Chicago, Ill.
[email protected]