Improving clinical handover in emergency departments

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Ron Wilson reviews findings from an audit of a simplified handover process that can involve patients and their families in discussions about careSummaryThe diverse health needs of patients presenting to emergency department (EDs) are such that precise handovers between staff are critical to ensure all aspects of care are communicated. The handover process in an ED in south western Sydney, Australia, did not always achieve this, so a new approach, in which handovers take place next to patients, has been developed. This article outlines the background to the change, describes the new system and reports the results of its audit.

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