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Handover checklist: testing a standardization process in an Italian hospital

Authors Ferorelli D, Giandola T, Laterza M, Solarino B, Pezzolla A, Zotti F, Dell'Erba A

Received 7 December 2016

Accepted for publication 22 March 2017

Published 22 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 87—93

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S129652

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Davide Ferorelli,1 Teresa Giandola,2 Mariangela Laterza,2 Biagio Solarino,2 Angela Pezzolla,3 Fiorenza Zotti,2 Alessandro Dell’Erba1

1Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, 2Section of Legal Medicine, 3Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy

Objectives: This study aimed to standardize and rationalize the handover, a critical and essential moment in common health care practices, through the realization of an efficient and standardized checklist, which could be used daily to ensure complete, thorough and effective handover. The principal purpose of the implementation of the handover is to reduce errors due to superficial and insufficient communication.
Methods: The “operative group” defined the phases to the realization of the delineated aims: at first, the direct observation and the consequent realization of a handover checklist model and then, the experimental phases (trials). The handover checklist model was used for a month and it was daily and duly completed by the doctors who took part in the trial. To prove the success of the study, three questionnaires were distributed on different occasions.
Results: Analyzing the answers to the questionnaires, the importance of the handover has come to light and that for the most part, the doctors consider it an essential and irreplaceable moment in daily health care work. Moreover, it became obvious that the use of the handover checklist guaranteed a considerable improvement in the traditional handover in terms of security, completeness, care continuity and clarity. The handover checklist was completely appreciated by the majority of the participant doctors who agree with the definitive introduction of it in their unit.
Conclusions: Our study indicated the consistency of the handover checklist as an instrument to implement the handover and, indirectly, to improve the quality of the care.

Keywords: clinical risk management, handover checklist, health care workers training

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