A Nursing Handoff Report Template is used by nurses and other health care professionals who are given written instructions from a doctor or other health care provider to transfer a patient from one floor of a hospital or other medical facility to another floor. This is sometimes necessary when the patient has to be transferred for routine care, or when the patient is too weak or ill to move, or is unable to walk due to injury or age. When such a situation occurs, and the patient’s condition needs to be stabilised or relieved of stress so that he or she can more fully engage in day to day activities or recover, the nursing staff need to know how to make this transfer.
Such documentation can be difficult to produce if there is no clear line of communication established between the patient and the nurse or health care professional who is going to carry out the handoff. Sometimes the doctor will give the order to transfer directly to one of the nurses or nursing staff who is designated to that patient’s care, and other times there may be some sort of line of communication established with the patient, or the nurse who is going to transfer him or her to another floor, but either way the end result is always that the end result is that the patient does not have the same level of support and assistance that might otherwise be available had the transfer been undertaken in an organized, lines-of-commission manner. In these circumstances it can often be of considerable benefit to use a template to record the information that must be provided in the handoff report.
One of the important elements of a handoff report is that it is clearly a record of the order that the patient is being transferred to the new floor. Without this it would be difficult to demonstrate to the concerned doctor or nurse that the transfer is necessary and beneficial to the patient. In many circumstances, a transfer can take place within an hour or so of receiving the final admission diagnosis from the attending physician. However, in other situations, such as where the initial diagnosis may take days to come through or where the waiting list for admission may be extremely long, then it may well be necessary to have a patient who is stable and able to follow simple instructions for the next few hours before he or she is allowed to be transferred to the new floor.
When documenting the progress of a transfer, one of the main considerations is the actual date of delivery. If the actual date of delivery is known, it is easy enough to incorporate it in the handoff report when a nurse or other onsite nurse arrives on the scene after the patient is stabilized. If not, then it is important to note the exact time that the patient was admitted to hospital. Once that date is documented, it can easily be converted into the actual time of day that he or she was admitted, and therefore can be used for scheduling a transfer if one is necessary. It is also possible to have the date of transfer inserted in the patient’s admission form, which would allow the transferring party to have more control over the process.
The next issue to consider when writing an admissions form is what are known as comorbidities. A comorbidity is a combination of illnesses or conditions that are unique to a specific patient. For example, there are several types of cancer that a patient might have, such as multiple myeloma or metastatic lung cancer. In addition, there are several kinds of heart conditions that a patient might have, such as cardiomyopathy or myocarditis. These conditions must be written explicitly on the form. The nursing personnel must be well-versed in each condition so that they can properly refer the patient for further care after the transfer has been completed.
An oncoming nurse should always document the presence of comorbidities. This allows the transfer team to know exactly how many doctors they need to visit in order to complete the paperwork. The documentation also gives the team valuable information about each of the patients’ conditions, which can help them make decisions about what course of treatment will be best for them.
Nursing staff should always have an idea of how many physicians they have on hand at any given time. This can make it much easier to send out a single letter of notice to all of the physicians. As long as the oncoming nurse knows that physicians are willing to accept the offer, the process should be relatively painless.
If a transfer patient has pressure injuries, the oncoming nurse should not assume that they will heal on their own. They should receive treatment from a trauma team to stabilize the patient, and then they should be transferred to a rehabilitation center for additional wound care. While a rehabilitation center will treat wounds better than a hospital, the trauma team should treat them at a higher level than a hospital. This will ensure that the patient recovers completely. Nursing staff should be trained to recognize pressure injuries, and they should take every precaution to transfer the patient to a rehabilitation center as soon as possible.