QUALITY OF CARE REPORT 2013-14

Providing health care around the clock

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One shift ends, another begins


Allison Easden, Ema JoseBetter patient outcomes are achieved through good clinical handover. In the face of the changing work patterns of the medical workforce, clinical handover is an increasingly essential practice. Health administrators, and medical and nursing professionals must work together to ensure good clinical handover practices are developed and maintained.

In the medical ward at GV Health, for example, the night nursing staff finish their shift at 7.30am. The morning shift begins at 7am; so there is an important half-hour handover period.

The overlap of handover time occurs with the change of every shift. This half hour is vital to ensure the continuity of patient care.

Medical Ward Nurse Unit Manager, Allison Easden said that a new standardised approach to clinical handover was adopted this year and has had a positive impact.

“The new approach to documentation provides a more thorough and multi-disciplinary summary of the care needs for every patient. We can then ensure the care plans flow from shift to shift and that risks are mitigated,” said Allison.