Why we are recommending this best practice
- Use of warm handoffs:
- Increases patient safety through improved communications and provides an opportunity to question, clarify, and confirm information.
- Builds partnerships for improved care, outcomes, and experiences.
- Increases shared decision making and patient/family engagement.
- Use of standardized workflows (the most efficient method or approach that all follow):
- Provides a structured communication tool and handoff process.
- Decreases variation in practice.
- Prevents omission of practice elements, ensuring every discharge/transition of care will benefit from all aspects of the warm handoff.
- Allows for analysis of practice and process improvement when issues or gaps are identified.
Strategies for implementation
- Collaborate with discharge caregivers, receivers, and patients to develop written standard work that supports next steps of the plan of care and meets the needs of all team members.
- Warm handoff standard work should:
- Be in person (whenever possible) and in front of the patient and/or family.
- Include an introduction by the discharging team member to the next care provider.
- Include pertinent details related to prenatal care and the acute care stay.
- Include a review of the discharge goals and plan.
- Include a review of next steps and who is responsible.
- Include a review of what is important to the patient/family.
- Provide an opportunity for all participants, including patient and family, to question, clarify, and confirm information.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Design Guide for Implementing Warm Handoffs. https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patient-family-engagement/pfeprimarycare/design-guide-warm-handoff.pdf. Accessed December 19, 2019.
- Shaked, D. (2014). Strength-based lean six Sigma: building positive and engaging business improvement. New York: Kogan Page; 2013.