To assess the quality of effective handover practise and to improve patients’ care.
To compare the handover practise with NHSLA guidelines.
To access if audit recommendations have been addressed.
Background Handovers aim to convey high-quality and appropriate clinical information to oncoming healthcare professionals to allow for the safe transfer of responsibility for patients. Effective handover between shifts is vital to protect patient safety and assist doctors with clinical governance.
The NHSLA guideline aim to ensure effective communication within the multi-disciplinary team. This handover must include details of report tools for improving communication within the team.
Previous shifts handover audit performed in August 2011 showed that although 100% of medical staffs use the SBAR tools to aid the handover process, there was poor attendance of consultants and poor handover documentation. Recommendations were made to improve the quality of shifts handover.
Results A retrospective re-audit was performed during the month of February 2012. In the morning handover, 88% of medical staffs, 88% lead midwife and 63% consultants were present compared to 83%, 80% and 53% respectively in the previous audit. There is up to 27% increase of the attendance rates of health professional staffs in the evening handover. 93% of the handover process used the SBAR tools correctly compared to 87% previously. The documentations given all the midwives when transferring women from labour ward to postnatal ward met the requirements correctly. In conclusion, there is overall a good improvement in the attendances and documentation made during shifts handover.
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