Handoffs 101 , In the Literature

Comprehensive Resource – Use of Mnemonics to Structure Handovers

August 26, 2022

Lee Ann Riesenberg PhD, MS, RN and Gina Whitney MD

University of Alabama and University of Colorado

Lee Ann Riesenberg PhD, MS, RN and Gina Whitney MD

Members of the Perioperative Multicenter Handoff Collaborative have put together a wonderfully comprehensive resource that we wanted to share with you.  Thank you to Drs. Elizabeth Lazzara, Meghan Michael, and Lee Ann Reisenberg and to soon-to-be-Drs. Sarah Fuller and Sabina Patel for creating this. 

Mnemonics are a frequent means of providing structure for communication while transitioning care and several different systems have been described in the literature (SBAR, I-PASS). They serve as a convenient memory aid for clinicians when handing over responsibility for patient care.

The resource is a comprehensive collection of the literature using mnemonics as a handoff improvement intervention and is available here: https://www.handoffs.org/?post_type=resources&p=1906&preview=true.

Forty-one mnemonics are included in the resource and 69% of the 151 references were published in the last 10 years. Fifteen of the articles in this collection include anesthesiology providers as participants. The most frequently used mnemonics are SBAR and I-PASS.  This resource includes the mnemonic, the study participants, and the reference.