Toolkit launched to cut handover errors

  • Date: 20 July 2011

A TOOLKIT designed to reduce errors during patient handovers has been launched by the Royal College of Physicians.

The document defines the principles behind good handover practice, what the handover framework should contain and how to avoid mistakes.

It makes a number of recommendations for the handover process including determining clear arrangements for ongoing care of patients, defining who is relinquishing responsibility and who is now responsible for care and establishing standardised systems of communication.

Professor Humphrey Hodgson, RCP Education Vice President, said: “The shorter working hours for medical trainees under the European Working Time regulations, and the increasing use of short-stay medical admissions units, so that patients may well be transferred between teams, are only two of the reasons why a robust and effective handover system is needed for patient safety and high quality care.”

The toolkit is the first of a series aimed at offering guidance on best quality care. It can be downloaded here

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