Interactive Handovers: Talking the Talk to Keep Patients Safe
Miscommunication continues to be a central feature of a majority of serious adverse events. All clinicians “handover,” yet it is exceedingly rare that this skill is taught in any of the health professions, much less evaluated.
Over the last five years a team at Interior Health has conducted both research and QI studies using a human factors lens. As a result it has created two clear and concise clinical practice guidelines (for all practitioners, including physicians) on effective verbal communication.
Far from a traditional “roll out,” this is opportunistic grass roots support for effective verbal communication that meets clinicians’ needs where and when it is convenient for them. The team’s first baseline study shows good uptake of the ideas and clear opportunities for spread; its ideas are being applied in undergraduate nursing and medicine programs, and it is planning work with hospitalist physicians to improve their work flow.
Manager of Human Factors and System Safety