Skip Navigation LinksHome > January 17, 2014 - Volume 8 - Issue 1 > Effective handoff communication
OR Nurse:
doi: 10.1097/01.ORN.0000442005.50438.48
CE Connection

Effective handoff communication

Free Access
Article Outline
Collapse Box

Author Information

For more than 54 additional continuing education articles related to safety topics, go to

Earn CE credit online: Go to and receive a certificate within minutes.

Back to Top | Article Outline

INSTRUCTIONS Effective handoff communication


* To take the test online, go to our secure website at

* On the print form, record your answers in the test answer section of the CE enrollment form on page 27. Each question has only one correct answer. You may make copies of these forms.

* Complete the registration information and course evaluation. Mail the completed form and registration fee of $17.95 to: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, CE Group, 74 Brick Blvd., Bldg. 4 Suite 206, Brick, NJ 08723. We will mail your certificate in 4 to 6 weeks. For faster service, include a fax number and we will fax your certificate within 2 business days of receiving your enrollment form.

* You will receive your CE certificate of earned contact hours and an answer key to review your results.There is no minimum passing grade.

* Registration deadline is February 29, 2016.

Back to Top | Article Outline

* Send two or more tests in any nursing journal published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins together and deduct $0.95 from the price of each test.

* We also offer CE accounts for hospitals and other health care facilities on Call 1-800-787-8985 for details.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, publisher of ORNurse2013 journal, will award 1.8 contact hours for this continuing nursing education activity. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins is also an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the District of Columbia and Florida #50-1223. This activity is also provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 11749 for 1.8 contact hours.

Your certificate is valid in all states.

The ANCC's accreditation status of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Department of Continuing Education refers only to its continuing nursing educational activities and does not imply Commission on Accreditation approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Effective handoff communication

General Purpose: To provide an overview of handoff communication in healthcare. Learning Objectives: After reading the article and taking this test, the reader should be able to: 1. Describe the importance of standardized handoffs as identified by the Joint Commission. 2. List elements of effective handoff communication techniques.

1. The Joint Commission has determined that most sentinel events are caused by

a. medication errors.

b. patient falls.

c. miscommunication.

d. lab errors.

2. According to the Joint Commission, 80% of preventable events are a result of

a. incorrect surgical counts.

b. perioperative patient positioning.

c. incomplete handoffs.

d. electronic medical record misuse.

3. With the evolution and specialization of healthcare, handoffs are likely to

a. increase in number.

b. decrease in number.

c. lose relevance.

d. require electronic support.

4. Handoffs in the OR

a. occur less frequently since the patient remains in one patient-care area.

b. are less complex because of the expertise of the providers involved.

c. take place only at the initiation and conclusion of a procedure.

d. are more frequent and complex than in many other care areas.

5. The number of checkpoints and transitions throughout the perioperative process

a. increases the patient's susceptibility to handoff errors.

b. should be minimal with content as brief as possible.

c. has no effect on communication.

d. keeps environmental distractions to a minimum.

6. To guide the transfer of critical information, the Joint Commission requires

a. that only written communication be used to conclude and summarize responsibility.

b. adoption of an AORN method of handoff communication.

c. implementation of a standardized handoff communication process.

d. that handoff communication be kept to a minimum.

7. The R in the SBAR communication technique stands for

a. record.

b. recommendations.

c. respirations.

d. responsibility.

8. The first step in the I PASS the BATON handoff technique is to

a. initiate transportation.

b. state the intended actions.

c. introduce the situation.

d. introduce yourself.

9. During which step of I PASS the BATON handoff are individual responsibilities established?

a. safety concerns

b. actions

c. ownership

d. next

10. In addition to a standardized format, handoffs must include

a. adequate time.

b. one-way communication.

c. telephone or electronic communication.

d. unilateral responsibility.

11. A receiving party repeating patient information to confirm its accuracy

a. facilitates one-way communication.

b. is time consuming and should be discouraged by the sending party.

c. demonstrates the “talk back” technique.

d. eliminates the need to transcribe notes into the medical record.

12. Information technology enhances communication by increasing accountability, data completeness, and

a. accuracy.

b. efficiency.

c. privacy.

d. technical errors.

13. By using Formula 1 racing team handoff communication concepts, one hospital reduced errors after adopting a/an

a. electronic medical record.

b. prerecorded reporting method.

c. team approach to handoff.

d. strict 1:1 communication policy.

14. Common barriers to effective communication include overconfidence and

a. assertiveness.

b. complacency.

c. standardization.

d. common goals.

15. The author states that healthcare providers communicate differently every time because

a. they want to individualize each situation.

b. it's faster and easier.

c. they don't care about standardization.

d. they believe that their method works.

16. Which is the most critical role of nurse leaders in promoting effective communication?

a. implementing standardized communication processes

b. investigating communication errors and their consequences

c. reporting sentinel events related to communication

d. hiring caregivers with effective communication skills

17. A key to active communication with positive patient outcomes is

a. speed.

b. efficiency.

c. acculturation.

d. collaboration.

18. Which statement about the Joint Commission's handoff communication requirements is true?

a. All hospitals must adopt the same handoff communication tool.

b. Handoff communication can occur face-to-face or over the telephone.

c. Handoff must include an opportunity to ask and respond to questions.

d. Ensuring accurate communication is the responsibility of the sending provider.

Figure. No caption a...
Image Tools

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.



Readers Of this Article Also Read