It should be noted that when patients are transmitted from one caregiver to another, it is crucial that their handover proceeds together with transferring vital information about their condition and plan of care. In that matter, ineffective communication of information might lead to medical errors and can cause undesired patient outcomes. According to the experts in the field, insufficient communication is the cause of poor hand-offs in the majority of cases; therefore, it is the role of healthcare organizations to follow standardized approaches for handing over the patients to eliminate the possible complications. The purpose of this paper is to review the impact of poor handover on patients and institutions and discuss the way managers can ensure a smooth transition of patients in their faculty.
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Poor Handover and its Impact on Organization
The core of the handoff process can be concluded to the event when one of the staff members transmits the patient to a different employee or caregiver. This process implies many steps that should be taken, which means that various errors can occur at different stages. If the patient is handled ineffectively or receives poor assistance, the organization can experience many problems.
For instance, the most important issue is harming patients who are the institution’s primary clients. In addition, poor hand-offs cause increased costs due to amplified hospitalization rates (McKean, Ross, Dressler, & Scheurer, 2016). The medical errors that occurred after ineffective handover might lead to complications in the patient’s condition, and it implies longer recovery rates. Overall, such negative manifestations result in client dissatisfaction and can cause malpractice lawsuits. Importantly, none of these occurrences should take place in any of the healthcare institutions.
Poor Handover and its Impact on Patient
Apart from the negative consequences to the organization, poor hand-offs can have a direct impact on patients as well. To be more precise, they interrupt the continuity of care provision and undermine the patient’s safety. For instance, negligence in terms of treatment documentation can result in medication overdosing or disregarding the peculiarities of an individual’s condition, which increases the risk of falls or injuries (McKean et al., 2016). Moreover, the possibility of treatment omission can also emerge due to insufficient communication between employees. All of these factors strongly influence the quality of care that a patient receives and leads to health complications and extended hospitalization.
Two hand-off processes that organizations use to assist with care transition include standardized computer reports and nurse communication. The first approach implies that standardized computer screens are used to provide the transmission of patients from one department to another (Dutta & Schulzrinne, 2014). The second approach engages nursing specialists in transmitting information based on shift reports, discharge summaries, and medication reconciliation forms. However, experts in the field suggest that the compilation of both methods will ensure patient safety and uninterruptedness of care.
Ensuring Smooth Handover
As a manager, I will encourage a smooth process at my facility by improving communication and specifying the individuals liable for transmissions at each point. In addition, I will determine my role in the engaged team so that I am responsible for the coordination and improvement of hand-offs rather than bearing all the responsibilities simultaneously (Dutta & Schulzrinne, 2014). However, most importantly, I will stress the importance of remaining patient-centered since nurses are patients’ advocates, notwithstanding the setting, and it is their role to provide the best of care and promote patient safety.
Thus, it can be concluded that effective handoffs ensure the continuity of care and security of patients. Poor handover processes occur due to insufficient communication and neglect from the side of healthcare specialists. Therefore, it is the role of managers to equip employees with the tools for handling the patients off and supervise them so that individuals receive the best services at each point of care provision.
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Dutta, A., & Schulzrinne, H. (2014). Mobility protocols and handover optimization. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
McKean, S., Ross, J., Dressler, D., & Scheurer, D. (2016). Principles and practice of hospital medicine (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.