About Handoff

This information explains what handoff is and how you can take part in handoff.

What is handoff?

Handoff is the process of passing your health information from one healthcare team to another. For example, when the day shift is over, the nurse will give the night nurse an update on your health. This helps make sure your healthcare team is up to date on how you’re feeling. Handoff doesn’t replace the conversations you have with your healthcare providers.

Handoff can happen at any point in your care, including over the phone or MyMSK (your patient portal). It only takes a few minutes. You may have a handoff more than once during your care.

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What should I expect?

During handoff, your healthcare team will:

  • Introduce themselves to you and anyone with you.
  • Invite you to take part in the handoff. If you want anyone else to take part, tell your team.
  • Talk with you about your health, including the reason you’re being seen and what’s going on with your care.
  • Review your medical chart.
  • Check the medications you’re taking.
  • Look at your intravenous (IV) lines, equipment, bandages, how much urine (pee) you’re making, and other information that’s important for your care.
  • Discuss any tests that were done.
  • Discuss your plans for discharge or care at home.
  • Encourage you to ask questions and share your concerns.
  • Ask you about information you want passed on to your next care team.
  • Ask you about your goal for the day so it’s included in your plan.
  • Ask you about any special needs.
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What should I do?

During handoff, you can ask questions and share important information with your healthcare team. You can:

  • Listen. You’re an important part of your healthcare team. We want to make sure you have all the information about your care and that you get the information right away.
  • Speak up. If you have questions or concerns, handoff is a good time to talk about them.
  • Ask questions. If your healthcare team use words or shares information you don’t understand, feel free to ask them to explain it.

It’s very helpful for you to take part in the handoff process. This is one way you can be a partner in your care. Being a partner in your care helps you get the best care possible.

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