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Exploring the structure and organization of information within nursing clinical handovers

Authors

  • Maree Johnson PhD RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South. DC, New South Wales, Australia
    • Centre for Applied Nursing Research, a joint facility of the South Western Sydney Local Health District & University of Western Sydney, Penrith South. DC, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Diana Jefferies PhD RN,

    1. School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South. DC, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Daniel Nicholls PhD RN

    1. Clinical Chair in Mental Health Nursing Disciplines of Nursing & Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • This study was funded by the University of Western Sydney.

Correspondence: Maree Johnson, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1787, Australia. Email: m.johnson@uws.edu.au

Abstract

Clinical handover is the primary source of patient information for nurses; however, inadequate information transfer compromises patient safety. We investigated the content and organization of information conveyed at 81 handovers. A structure that captures and presents the information transferred at handover emerged: identification of the patient and clinical risks, clinical history/presentation, clinical status, care plan and outcomes/goals of care (ICCCO). This approach covers essential information while allowing for prioritization of information when required. Further research into the impact of ICCCO on patient safety is in progress.

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