Handover (maintenance)

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The transfer referred to care for a shift change the placement of all important for the care and treatment of patients and residents information by the staff, whose work ends, to the staff, whose work begins. It can be done verbally or in writing and takes place in an office or meeting room or at the patient's bedside.

Oral delivery

Oral transfer means that all information relevant to treatment and care is addressed in a direct conversation. It usually takes place in a separate room to which only employees have access. This means that there is the possibility of inquiries or additions by the other nursing staff present . It is expected that they write down any keywords that may be necessary for their work.

Written handover

The information should already be in full in the care documentation . When calling up, leafing through and at the same time discussing them together, any gaps can be noticed and added immediately, as well as aspects that were forgotten in the report. A handover protocol may be created (automatically on PC systems) containing the names of the participants and the most important content. All important dates are also noted.

Handover on site

With this approach, the handover takes place partially or entirely at the patient's bedside or in the customer's room ( intensive care , social wards ). In this way, special features can be asked for and clearly explained. This daily meeting in intensive care should not be confused with a nursing round .

Communication disruptions

Because the handover takes place during ongoing operations, there are often “interruptions” in the conversation (etc.) due to patient calls, telephone calls, e-mails or doctors arriving. The consequences are disturbances in concentration and loss of information. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that these requests, emergency calls or inquiries are received or delegated immediately by the employees responsible for them, so that there are as few interruptions as possible for the care team during the handover.

Examples from other areas

  • Politics / history: transfer of power , transition from one form of government to the next - usually in a peaceful manner as opposed to war or revolution. Handover of government : handover of government work to a new government after an election.
  • Company: Handover of components from the supplying department to the company ( transition to production ).
  • Company organization: Notifications about the processing status to the vacation replacement before the start of the vacation in a company.
  • Computer: Transfer of program control or forwarding of data between two computers.


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