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What you need to know

  • Information shared during clinical handover includes, as a minimum, the patient’s current health status, medications, and treatment plans as well as advance directives and any important changes in the patient’s status
  • Tools and handover structures such as SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) have been shown to improve the quality of handovers
  • Involving patients and carers in handovers—including scheduling a timely discharge conversation to discuss aspects of their admission and follow-up plan that includes a personalised discharge letter—is of great value.

High quality handovers are essential for safe healthcare and are used in many clinical situations. Miscommunication during handovers can lead to unnecessary diagnostic delays, patients not receiving required treatment, and medication errors.1 Miscommunication is one of the leading causes for adverse…