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Improving patient handover: A narrative review

 Department of Postgraduate Surgical Studies, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Zahra Khalaf,
Department of Postgraduate Surgical Studies, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajps.ajps_82_22

Introduction: The clinical handover process has been directly associated with patient safety. Improving patient handover can improve patients' safety and ultimate outcomes; therefore, this review was conducted to examine the literature available on interventions that make handovers more effective. Methods: MEDLINE (EBSCO) was searched for interventions that improve the efficacy of clinical handovers. Studies were excluded if they were irrelevant, not published in peer-reviewed journals, not published in English, or were based on animal studies. A total of 1087 publications were retrieved and sorted by relevance. The eligibility of the articles was determined by reading through the titles and abstracts then full texts, and reference searching. Six studies were selected for this literature review. Results: A number of handover interventions were explored. One intervention was changing the handover location to patients' bedside; Bradley et al. found that bedside handovers decreased handover time and patient adverse events. Another intervention was providing education on handovers which Sand-Jecklin et al. associated with reductions in adverse events. Moreover, Lee et al. used simulation-based education and found that it significantly improved nurses' knowledge, performance competence, and self-efficacy. Another intervention was the transforming care at the bedside (TCAB) framework which incorporated multidimensional strategies and emphasized handover as part of patient centeredness; these strategies improved patient safety, yet the results cannot be attributed solely to handover modifications. Meanwhile, Hada et al. implemented a mixture of interventions and found that they improved patient safety and reduced adverse events. Conclusion: The interventions explored were bedside handovers, providing education and simulation-based education on handovers, emphasizing patient centeredness as part of TCAB strategies, and implementing a mixture of interventions. All interventions reduced adverse events, although some improvements were not significant. Due to the limited evidence available to support the efficacy of the interventions on improving clinical handovers, the results remain inconclusive.

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