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Med J Aust. 2009 Jun 1;190(11 Suppl):S152-6.

iSoBAR--a concept and handover checklist: the National Clinical Handover Initiative.

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Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, WA.


Effective communication at clinical handover is important for improving patient safety and reducing adverse outcomes. In consultation with doctors, nurses and allied health staff in the Western Australian Country Health Service, we developed a clinical handover checklist, adapted from an existing tool for standardising communication. The acronym "iSoBAR" (identify-situation-observations-background-agreed plan-read back) summarises the components of the checklist. We designed a comprehensive iSoBAR handover form to reduce the number of existing clinical handover forms. The new form, with an accompanying toolkit, was initially trialled in the Kimberley region, but is now being adopted more widely. Early adoption of the new form has been attributed to extensive clinician involvement and leadership. There is a need for further research to assess whether the use of handover checklists improves patient outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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