Information environments for supporting consistent registrar medical handover

Leila Alem, Michele Joseph, Stefanie Kethers, Cathie Steele, Ross Gordon Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was two-fold in nature. Initially, it examined the information environment and the use of customary information tools to support medical handovers in a large metropolitan teaching hospital on four weekends (i.e. Friday night to Monday morning). Weekend medical handovers were found to involve sequences of handovers where patients were discussed at the discretion of the doctor handing over; no reliable discussion of all patients of concern occurred at any one handover, with few information tools being used; and after a set of weekend handovers, there was no complete picture on a Monday morning without an analysis of all patient progress notes. In a subsequent case study, three information tools specifically designed as intervention that attempted to enrich the information environment were evaluated. Results indicate that these tools did support greater continuity in who was discussed but not in what was discussed at handover. After the intervention, if a doctor discussed a patient at handover, that patient was more likely to be discussed at subsequent handovers. However, the picture at Monday morning remained fragmentary.The results are discussed in terms of the complexities inherent in the handover process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9 - 25
Number of pages17
JournalHealth Information Management Journal
Volume37
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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