Nursing handovers : do we really need them?

Sexton, Amanda, Chan, Connie, Elliott, Malcolm, Stuart, John, Jayasuriya, Rohan and Crookes, Patrick 2004, Nursing handovers : do we really need them?, Journal of nursing management, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 37-42, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2004.00415.x.

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Title Nursing handovers : do we really need them?
Author(s) Sexton, Amanda
Chan, Connie
Elliott, Malcolm
Stuart, John
Jayasuriya, Rohan
Crookes, Patrick
Journal name Journal of nursing management
Volume number 12
Issue number 1
Start page 37
End page 42
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2004-01
ISSN 0966-0429
Keyword(s) communication
nursing care plan
patient medical record
Summary Aim This study attempts to address the content of nursing handover when compared with formal documentation sources.

Background The nursing handover has attracted criticism in the literature in relation to its continuing role in modern nursing. Criticisms include those related to time expenditure, content, accuracy and the derogatory terms in which patients are sometimes being discussed.

Methods Twenty-three handovers, covering all shifts, from one general medical ward were audio-taped. Their content was analysed and classified according to where, within a ward's documentation systems, the information conveyed could be located.

Findings Results showed that almost 84.6% of information discussed could be located within existing ward documentation structures and 9.5% of information discussed was not relevant to ongoing patient care. Only 5.9% of handover content involved discussions related to ongoing care or ward management issues that could not be recorded in an existing documentation source.

Limitations The results of this study are representative of only one ward in one Australian Hospital. Specific documentation sources were also not checked to determine their content.

Conclusion Streamlining the nursing handover may improve the quality of the information presented and reduce the amount of time spent in handover.

Notes Published Online: 11 Dec 2003
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2004.00415.x
Field of Research 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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