Introduction: A physician handoff is the process through which physicians transfer the primary responsibility of a care unit. The emergency department (ED) is a fast-paced and crowded environment where the risk of information loss between shifts is significant. Yet, the impact of handoffs between emergency physicians on patient outcomes remains understudied. We performed a retrospective cohort study in the ED to determine if handed-off patients, when compared to non-handed-off patients, were at higher risk of negative outcomes. Methods: We included every adult patient first assessed by an emergency physician and subsequently admitted to hospital in one of the five sites of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval during fiscal year 2016-17. Data were extracted from the local hospital discharge database and the ED information system. Primary outcome was mortality. Secondary outcomes were incidence of ICU admission and surgery and hospital length of stay. We conducted multilevel multivariate regression analyses, accounting for patient and hospital clusters and adjusting for demographics, CTAS score, comorbidities, admitting department delay before evaluation by an emergency physician and by another specialty, emergency department crowding, initial ED orientation and handoff timing. We conducted sensitivity analyses excluding patients that had an ED length of stay > 24 hours or events that happened after 72 hours of hospitalization. Results: 21,136 ED visits and 17,150 unique individuals were included in the study. Median[Q1-Q3] age, Charlson index score, door-to-emergency-physician time and ED length of stay were 71[55-83] years old, 3[1-4], 48 [24,90] minutes, 20.8[9.9,32.7] hours, respectively. In multilevel multivariate analysis (OR handoff/no handoff [CI95%] or GMR[SE]), handoff status was not associated with mortality 0.89[0.77,1.02], surgery 0.95[0.85,1.07] or hospital length of stay (-0.02[0.03]). Non-handed-off patients had an increased risk of ICU admission (0.75[0.64,0.87]). ED occupancy rate was an independent predictor of mortality and ICU admission rate irrespectively of handoff status. Sensitivity and sub-group based analyses yielded no further information. Conclusion: Emergency physicians’ handoffs do not seem to increase the risk of severe in-hospital adverse events. ED occupancy rate is an independent predictor of mortality. Further studies are needed to explore the impact of ED handoffs on adverse events of low and moderate severity.