Are weekend handovers of adequate quality for the on-call general medical team?

Link to article at PubMed

Are weekend handovers of adequate quality for the on-call general medical team?

Clin Med. 2011 Dec;11(6):536-40

Authors: Pfeffer PE, Nazareth D, Main N, Hardoon S, Choudhury AB

Abstract
Weekend handover is vital for patient safety--poor handover is a cause of avoidable adverse events. This study evaluated whether the quality of information handed over for patients requiring weekend review was adequate. Two external doctors imagined themselves as the doctor on-call and judged whether the handed-over information was adequate for each case. Of the 1,130 handovers evaluated, 867 were handed over using a computerised proforma and discussed at the handover meeting, 148 using the computerised proforma but not discussed, 30 handovers were handwritten. Of handovers of patient details and background information, 87.3% were judged of adequate quality by the first auditor and 86.0% by the second. Similarly 70.6% and 75.8% of handovers of action plans were of adequate quality. Use of computerised proforma and discussion at a handover meeting gave the highest percentage of handovers of adequate quality, however, there was room for improvement. Training in handover may improve communication.

PMID: 22268304 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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