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Electronic system to improve patient handover

Rob Sands, Jeremy Fowler, Patricia CollierEffective clinical handover systems are critical to ensure high quality and safe care for patients during their time in hospital. They enable different medical and nursing staff on duty to follow a patient’s history, conditions, assessments, treatments and requirements and effectively communicate these to their colleagues to ensure seamless continuity of care with comprehensive, up-to-date documentation.

An electronic system has been built in-house and is now used by all staff to ensure an effective, documented and consistent approach to clinical patient handover.

This innovative new handover system has transformed the method of recording and communicating important patient information into one single robust, secure and streamlined system.

The need to improve clinical handover was identified as the result of a review of existing handover processes which were operating throughout the hospital. Information was being recorded inconsistently, through a number of different methods, databases and manual systems by medical and nursing staff in different locations.

The new system is flexible enough to enable each clinical area to adopt it in different ways to suite their particular needs, while still using the same information system delivery processes.

The tool also has the ability to provide a Discharge Summary (including Discharge Prescriptions) that is automatically inserted into the patient’s Scanned Clinical Record and securely delivered to the patient’s GP via their electronic record keeping system. This provides a seamless pathway of care that accurately communicates the patient’s status and needs as they move from the hospital visit to the GP and then home.