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Standardizing Handoff Communication

Content Analysis of 27 Handoff Mnemonics

Nasarwanji, Mahiyar F. PhD; Badir, Aysel PhD, RN; Gurses, Ayse P. PhD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000174

This study synthesizes information contained in 27 mnemonics to identify what information should be communicated during a handoff. Clustering and content analysis resulted in 12 primary information clusters that should be communicated. Given the large amount of information identified, it would be beneficial to use a structured handoff communication tool developed using a participatory approach. In addition, we recommend local standardization of information communicated during handoffs with variation across settings.

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Drs Nasarwanji and Gurses); and Koc University, School of Nursing, Nisantasi, Istanbul, Turkey (Dr Badir).

Correspondence: Mahiyar F. Nasarwanji, PhD, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 750 E. Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202 (

The authors thank Christine G. Holzmueller for reviewing and editing the manuscript content. This work was carried out at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr Gurses' efforts were supported by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (K01HS018762).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Accepted for publication: December 19, 2015

Published ahead of print: February 3, 2016

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