Clinical handover is the primary source of patient information for nurses; however, inadequate information transfer compromises patient safety. We investigated the content and organization of information conveyed at 81 handovers. A structure that captures and presents the information transferred at handover emerged: identification of the patient and clinical risks, clinical history/presentation, clinical status, care plan and outcomes/goals of care (ICCCO). This approach covers essential information while allowing for prioritization of information when required. Further research into the impact of ICCCO on patient safety is in progress.