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Handoff Communication: Don't Drop the Ball

Handoff Communication: Don't Drop the Ball

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This online course is designed for all hospital staff to improve communication skills between both internal and external personnel, working in the same departments, ancillary departments, throughout the facility, between facilities, or with external agencies. The course incorporates aspects of proper communication skills from the TeamSTEPPS program developed by the Department of Defense’s Patient Safety Program in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the importance of communication and teamwork in preventing errors
  • Recall teamwork and communication strategies
  • Recognize improper communication between healthcare staff
  • Identify techniques to improve communication skills

Expected Outcomes

  • Implement proper techniques to enhance communication skills in the workplace
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of situation awareness, situation monitoring, the SBAR communication tool, and a shared mental model
  • Integrate elements such as call-out and check-back throughout conversations


  • All hospital staff