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BMJ Qual Improv Rep. 2014 May 6;3(1). pii: u202917.w1357. doi: 10.1136/bmjquality.u202917.w1357. eCollection 2014.

Improving the medical 'take sheet'.

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Belfast City Hospital.


The GMC states that "Trainees in hospital posts must have well organised handover arrangements, ensuring continuity of patient care[1]". In the Belfast City Hospital throughout the day there can be multiple new medical admissions. These can be via the GP Unit, transfers for tertiary care, and transfers due to bed shortages in other hospitals. Over the course of 24 hours there can be up to four medical SHOs and three registrars that fill in the take sheet. Due to the variety of admission routes and number of doctors looking after the medical take information can be lost during handover between SHOs. In the current format there is little room to write and key and relevant information on the medical take sheet about new and transferring patients. I felt that this handover sheet could be improved. An initial questionnaire demonstrated that 47% found the old proforma easy to use and 28.2% felt that it allowed them to identify sick patients. 100% of SHOs and Registrars surveyed felt that it could be improved from its current form. From feedback from my colleagues I created a new template and trialled it in the hospital. A repeat questionnaire demonstrated that 92.3% of responders felt the new format had improved medical handover and that 92.6% felt that it allowed safe handover most of the time/always. The success of this new proforma resulted in it being implemented on a permanent basis for new medical admissions and transfers to the hospital.

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