The objective of this review is to address two research questions: What is evidence‐based best practice for intra‐hospital inpatient handovers? What areas need further research? The paper aims to take a particular interest in the interpersonal skills involved in successful handover, theoretically‐based approaches to implementing improvements in handovers, and whether there is sufficient data to construct an evaluation methodology.
The paper takes the form of a narrative synthesis based on search of PubMed, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library.
A total of 82 papers, comprising 29 implementation studies, 13 conceptual models or improvement methods, five subject reviews and 35 background papers were identified. None of the studies met the normal parameters of evidence‐based medicine, but this is unsurprising for a complex healthcare service intervention.
Those papers published in English between 2000 and July 2010 that were indexed in CINAHL, Medline or the Cochrane Library or found opportunistically were the only ones to be reviewed. The authors did not search any grey literature or hand‐search any journals.
The evidence is sufficient to justify widespread adoption of the guiding principles for inpatient handover best practice, provided that concurrent evaluation is also undertaken.
This is the first comprehensive review published in the peer‐reviewed literature that examines the evidence base for the practice of inpatient handovers across healthcare professions and specialties.
Scott, P., Ross, P. and Prytherch, D. (2012), "Evidence‐based inpatient handovers: a literature review and research agenda", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 14-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777271211200710Download as .RIS
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