Clinical Team Training and a Structured Handoff Tool to Improve Teamwork, Communication, and Patient Safety

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Effective communication among healthcare teams is essential for ensuring handoff-related safety and quality care outcomes. PURPOSE: The aim of this project was to improve patient safety through the reduction of communication-related errors on an acute hemodialysis unit (AHU) in an academic medical center. A target was set to reduce by 50 percent the communication-related errors using strategies to improve teamwork and communication. METHODS: Acute hemodialysis unit team members attended Clinical Team Training (CTT) informational sessions on teamwork and communication. A structured handoff tool was implemented in the AHU to improve nurse communication and reduce communication-related patient safety events. Descriptive statistics and comparison of means were conducted to assess the differences between preimplementation and postimplementation audit and safety event data. RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference between the preintervention and postintervention groups of handoff tool usage and completion as well as a consistent decrease in handoff-related safety events after implementation. CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Findings suggest that CTT and a structured handoff tool used to guide nurse-to-nurse care transitions lead to a reduction in communication-related safety events during handoffs in an AHU.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Neville B; Miltner RS; Shirey MR
  • Start Page

  • 365
  • End Page

  • 373
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 6