"HAND ME AN ISOBAR": a pilot study of an evidence-based approach to improving shift-to-shift clinical handover.
Med J Aust. 2009 Jun 1;190(11 Suppl):S121-4
Authors: Yee KC, Wong MC, Turner P
OBJECTIVE: To develop, using an evidence-based approach, a standardised operating protocol (SOP) and minimum dataset (MDS) to improve shift-to-shift clinical handover by medical and nursing staff in a hospital setting. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A pilot study conducted in six clinical areas (nursing and medical handovers in general medicine, general surgery and emergency medicine) at the Royal Hobart Hospital between 1 October 2005 and 30 September 2008. Data collection and analysis involved triangulation of qualitative techniques; 120 observation sessions and 112 interviews involving nurses and junior medical officers were conducted across the six clinical areas; information on more than 1000 individual patient handovers was analysed. RESULTS: We developed an overarching four-step SOP and MDS for clinical handover, summarised by the acronym "HAND ME AN ISOBAR". This standardised solution supports flexible adaptation to local circumstances. CONCLUSION: A standardised protocol for clinical handover can be developed and validated across professional and disciplinary boundaries. It is anticipated that our model will be transferable to other sites and clinical settings.
PMID: 19485859 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]