Clinical Handover: Best practice as suggested by experts

Jul 14
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In the build up to the Strengthening Clinical Handover conference Chris May, Katrina Lewis & Maree Johnson have all been kind enough to give us a small insight into some of the key questions that hospitals are asking when it comes to becoming successfully accredited for NSQHS Standard 6. With over 40 years worth of experience between the three of them, they all store a wealth of knowledge when it comes to clinical handover. If you missed part one of the Clinical Handover trilogy then catch up on it. 

NSQHS Standards are improving the health system

“Caring for ill people is an extraordinarily complex business involving many different people with varying levels of skill, highly-sophisticated technology and treatments which are continually being updated and changed. As humans are providing that care, mistakes are inevitable.” – said Professor Debora Picone AM, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. NSQHS Standard 6 – Clinical handover. With the second round of accreditations just around the corner for many, the time to make appropriate changes to get accredited is now.

What do you consider to be current best practice for handover operations?

Chris – “Use a standardised and accepted tool at every handover.  Handovers vary across the areas of hospitals but the same tool can be used.”

Maree –Involving the patient where they are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to the handover. The patient is the one constant, so chances are they will have more information. Also asking the the one taking over care of the patient to read back the information is good practice.”

Katrina – “Developing and implementing a policy and guideline that outlines an agreed and consistent approach to safe and effective handover. Guiding principles of handover have to be reflected in the guideline to meet national standards and best practice

  • Preparation for handover
  • Organising  and supporting  the relevant workforce members to participate
  • Being  aware of clinical context and needs
  • Effective handover results in transfer of accountability and responsibility for care and includes:

1- Having an agreed, standardised content delivery

2- Delivering essential information only.

For some, changes will be bigger than others when it comes to aligning operations correctly with NSQHS Standard 6. We want to help make the whole process easier. What are your two best bits of advice for anyone out there that is struggling with Standard 6?

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Part one of the three trilogy you might have missed but must catch up on…

Clinical Handover: 3 experts share their advice on getting accredited for NSQHS Standard 6

photo credit: EricMagnuson via photopin cc


Submitted by Criterion Content Team

Criterion Content Team

This post has been written by the Criterion Conferences Content Team. Based in Sydney, we are an independent research organisation, producing over 90 conferences a year across a variety of industries. Our events, attended by thousands of senior delegates from the public and private sector, are designed to enrich, inspire and motivate. Our focus is on providing innovative, value adding content via our conferences and blogs like this are extension of that principle. You can view our conferences by visiting our website

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