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Nurs Stand. 1995 Sep 20-26;9(52):33-6.

The patient handover: a study of its form, function and efficiency.


This study investigates the nature of the ward handover report. It was undertaken following observations that student nurses seemed not to receive enough knowledge to care for patients in an informed way. Data were gathered through participant observation on two busy medical wards over a period of two weeks. The data revealed a complex system of communication was necessary to allow nurses to provide continuity of care for patients in a safe manner. The handover was seen as working effectively but with scope for improvement. It was often long, lasting up to 60 minutes, and its information so comprehensive that it was difficult to assimilate in one session. It was found to be a process of variable quality due to the lack of supporting framework. The findings are discussed and recommendations are made to improve the handover's quality and effectiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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