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Handover tool improves patient safety

A pioneering electronic tool to improve the quality of patient handover has significantly improved patient safety at a Wiltshire trust.

The Salisbury Handover System was developed by staff at Salisbury Foundation Trust to help improve handover to Hospital at Night teams following last August’s deadline for the European Working Time Directive.

Project manager for the system Debbie Dupont said it has significantly improved communication between teams and multiprofessional sharing of information.

“Breakdown in communication is often behind a breakdown in patient safety. The tool gives structure to handover so that crucial information is not missed,” she told delegates at a patient safety conference in London last week.

A snapshot audit of the tool at Salisbury Foundation Trust found that 98 per cent of patients classed as deteriorating had been handed over correctly.

Readers' comments (2)

  • We use a similar tool in West of Scotland. The tool is OK when you have time to write the same things in three different areas of the mandatory paperwork but when time is not there, you simply don't have the time to update it and have to ask the nightshift to update it. I am not so sure if this paper exercise has been anymore successful.

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  • Sounds like they put a process in place that works. If your hospital is looking for something a bit more integrated Vocera Communication Inc. has a very effective product that provides solutions that are proven to effectively standardize, manage, and monitor handoffs in healthcare. Customizable voice, data, and text options streamline care transitions at the time of patient transfer, shift-change, physician sign-out, and discharge.

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