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The current practice of clinical handover process in emergency departments in National Hospital, Kandy and University Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya: a descriptive cross-sectional study

Authors:

S. M. K. G. N. K. Jayathilake ,

Teaching Hospital,Peradeniya, LK
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R. Weerakoon,

National Hospital, Kandy, LK
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V. Pinto

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

The aim of establishing an accident and emergency department is prompt initial assessment, stabilization and early referral for definitive care.  This study aims to describe the current practice of the clinical handover process at the emergency departments  of the national hospital, Kandy and the teaching hospital, Peradeniya and to describe the adherence of the medical officer shift hand over to “iSoBAR” (identification, situation, observation, background, assessment, recommendation/ read back) handover method.

 

A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at the emergency treatment units (ETU) of the national hospital, Kandy, Sri Lanka and the teaching hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka from February 2021 to April 2021. All medical handovers during the change of shifts of medical doctors in the ETUs were included in the current study. Handovers were observed by four observers, based on an iSoBAR checklist-based scoring system, giving equal weightage for each of its 22 components.

 

Three hundred and fifteen medical handovers that occurred during the study period were included for the study. We observed that at least one parameter relevant to patient identification or cardiovascular system was often missed during the handovers, with >50% handovers scoring less than 50% of the score and none of the handovers scoring above 75%. Comparatively higher scores were observed among patient handovers by female doctors compared to males (p<001, student’s t-test). Also, more successful patient handing over procedures were noted among medical officers having an only basic degree with no postgraduate qualifications (p<001, Student’s t-test) and with special training on patient transfers (p<001, Student’s t-test). Those who handover patients using their own pre-prepared methods scored more (p=0.003, Student’s t-test).

 

This study showed that most patient handovers in the study lacked important information, that potentially would have negatively affected patient care. Attention should be paid to the preparation of training modules regarding the handing over procedure at an ETU. ETU attached health care staff should be directed towards these training procedures.

How to Cite: Jayathilake, S.M.K.G.N.K., Weerakoon, R. and Pinto, V., 2021. The current practice of clinical handover process in emergency departments in National Hospital, Kandy and University Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya: a descriptive cross-sectional study. Anuradhapura Medical Journal, 15(2), pp.9–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v15i2.7692
Published on 30 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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