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Whose handover is it anyway?
Jenkin et al conducted a small scale survey with 80 staff (42 paramedics, 17 doctors and 21 nurses) involved in patient handover in the emergency department (ED). From the questionnaire responses, the researchers identify perceived strengths and limitations of handover as well as some differences among the professional groups as to what constitutes effective patient handover. Three key findings emerged: ED staff need to acknowledge that active listening skills are essential to avoid unnecessary repetition of information and subsequent frustration for ambulance personnel; ambulance staff may need to repeat their handover (most likely for patients in the resuscitation room) as there may be valid reasons for repetition other than ED staff not listening; the handover might happen in two stages with the first stage focusing on immediate, primary information, and then additional information being given later after commencement of initial treatment. Apart from recommending additional education for staff, and development of national guidelines for effective handover, the researchers have constructed a framework for patient handover in the ED, which, although referring to electronic documentation processes (not …