October 2006, Volume 36 Number 10 , p 22 - 23
SCHROEDER, SARAH JANE RN, BSN
Sarah Jane Schroeder is a nurse at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis.
STANDARDIZING communication during patient handoff (shift report) is one of the 2006 National Patient Safety Goals established by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). To meet this goal, nurses in one of our hospital's medical/surgical units decided to adopt a standardized template for handoffs between shifts. The nurse-manager asked me to investigate nursing literature and find a handoff system that would comply with JCAHO standards and unit goals.
Searching the nursing literature for a template, I came up empty-handed. That inspired me to design an original template based on the mnemonic PACE. In this article, I'll explain how we use this template to improve patient safety and quality of care.
Handoff, right and wrong
Performed properly, intershift handoff lets nurses share ...