Table 2

Coding scheme (adapted from ref. 20)

Coding categoryDefinition
Patient presentation
 Patient identifiersStatements that convey patient identifiers such as name, date of birth or hospital number.
 Clinical historyThe patient's past medical problems/conditions that are pertinent to the current diagnosis or clinical impression.
 Social historyThe patient's social circumstances and psychological needs describing, for example, housing situation and existing care arrangements, family or friends accompanying, etc.
 SymptomDescriptions and explanations that provide information about symptoms of concern.
 ProcedureStatements about pertinent laboratory data, pertinent test results, medications and evaluation that already been performed to address the patient's current condition.
 TreatmentStatements about future medical procedures to be taken to address the patient's current problem.
 Clinical impressionIdentification of the current clinical impression, naming the problem or reasons for the problem.
 PrognosisProbabilistic statement about patient's future condition based on completed or proposed treatments.
 OutcomeDefinite utterances about the result of the handover, for example, accept, not accept, wait and see.
 Transfer of responsibilityStatements about what was being asked of the recipient of the handover.
Professional environment
 Logistic processesDescriptive or evaluative talk about logistics or procedural issues in emergency department, hospital, or healthcare system.
 CourtesiesStatements such as thank you, greeting and closing remarks, etc., that provide a context of professional courtesy.
Language form
Information seeking
 Closed questionAn utterance that is designed to solicit specific information.
 Open questionAn utterance that is designed to solicit information in a manner that affords the respondent the opportunity to elaborate.
 Clarifying question/requestAn utterance that is a question designed to seek clarification of another's immediately preceding utterance. May take the form of a request.
Information giving
 DescriptionUtterances that provide description about the patient and the patient's past or present condition and circumstances.
 ExplanationUtterances that state the facts and make an inference about the patient.
 RationaleA justification is offered to account for any medical procedures, tests, medications or recommendations concerning the patient. The intent is to justify why an action has been taken or will be taken in the future.
 DirectiveAdvisements, orders or recommendations that inform patient evaluation, treatment and disposition.
 Context talkTalk about contextual issues in clinical environment such as logistics and procedures.
 Social amenitiesUtterances in which physicians exchange courtesies and talk that tells the sender that the receiver is paying attention.
 DecisionUtterances in which the physician accepts or does not accept the patient. May be directly stated or implied.
Information verifying
 Read-backStatements that paraphrase or restate what the other has said.