Pilot study to show the loss of important data in nursing handover.

Department of Otolaryngology, Gloucester Royal Hospital, Gloucester.
British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing) 11/2005; 14(20):1090-3. DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2005.14.20.20053
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A good nursing handover process is a crucial part of providing quality nursing care in a modern healthcare environment. The conservation of patient data during the handover process is vital to ensure good continuity of care and safe practice. Any errors or omissions made during the handover process may have dangerous consequences. The authors observed the handover of 12 simulated patients over five consecutive handover cycles between nurses. Three handover styles were used and the amount of data loss was recorded for each style. A purely verbal handover style resulted in the loss of all data after three cycles. A note-taking style (the traditional style used in most hospital wards) resulted in only 31% of data being transferred correctly after five cycles. When a typed sheet was included with the verbal handover, data loss was minimal. Current handover methods may result in significant loss of important data that may impact on patient care. The authors recommend that prior to handover, a formal handover sheet be constructed that can be transferred as part of the handover process.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The aim of the present study was to investigate the challenges faced by physicians during shift handovers in a university hospital that has a high handover sender/recipient ratio. Methods: A multifaceted approach was adopted, comprising recording and analysis of handover information, rating of handover quality, and shadowing of handover recipients. Data was collected at the general medical ward of a university hospital in Singapore for a period of three months. Handover information transfer (i.e. senders' and recipients' verbal communication, and recipients' handwritten notes) and handover environmental factors were analysed. The relationship between 'to-do' tasks, and information transfer, handover quality and handover duration, were examined using analysis of variance. Results: Verbal handovers for 152 patients were observed; handwritten notes on 102 (67.1%) patients and handover quality ratings for the handovers of 98 (64.5%) patients were collected. Although there was good task prioritisation (information transfer: p < 0.005, handover duration: p < 0.01), incomplete information transfer and poor implementation of nonmodifiable identifiers were observed. The high sender/recipient ratio of the hospital made face-to-face and/or bedside handover difficult to implement. Although the current handover method (i.e. use of telephone communication), allowed interactive communication, it resulted in systemic information loss due to the lack of written information. The handover environment was chaotic in the high sender/recipient ratio setting, and the physicians had no designated handover time or location. Conclusion: Handovers in high sender/recipient ratio settings are challenging. Efforts should be made to improve the handover processes in such situations, so that patient care is not compromised.
    Singapore medical journal 12/2014; · 0.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AimsTo examine the effects of two factors on the transmission of clinical information at nursing handover. These factors were: (i) an affective statement expressing concern about the information; and (ii) verbal reference to a written summary of the information.Background Quality of communication at patient handover is inconsistent, compromising patient safety. Little is known about the nuances of communication that lead to effective handovers. Furthermore, effective information transmission during handovers is seldom evaluated using experimental research designs.DesignA randomized, single-blind, controlled experiment.Methods Postanaesthesia care unit or surgical ward nurses and final-year nursing students were randomly assigned to watch one of four versions of a video-recorded handover. In each version, one piece of information was presented as either a simple statement (control), with an affective qualifier, with a written summary of the information, or with both an affective qualifier and a written summary. Primary outcome was assessed by questionnaire following a task directing attention away from the handover. Data were collected July–October, 2013 and analysed using 2 × 2 anova.ResultsA total of 157 nurses participated. Successful transmission of the clinical information did not significantly differ across the experimental conditions. Subgroup analysis revealed significantly higher transmission success among more experienced nurses when the affective statement was present compared to when it was absent (Kruskal–Wallis P = 0·002).Conclusions Expressing concern about information or directing attention to written notes may not improve information transfer at handover. However, affective qualifiers may have differential receiver-specific influences on information retention.
    Journal of Advanced Nursing 07/2014; · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    International Journal of Caring Sciences. 01/2013; 6(3):300-313.


Available from
May 27, 2014