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Care Delivery Essay

2728 words - 11 pages

The safe transfer of care is a vital component of the quality of care and safe practice (Pothier, Monteiro, Nooktlar et al, 2005). Handovers have been identified as ‘error hotspots’. All handovers may be error prone including those between individuals from the same or different professional groups, between departments and between sectors of care (Bruce Bayley, et al, 2005). When the process of handover is inadequately undertaken risks to the patient are increased and may subsequently lead to harm (BMA, 2005; Joint Commission, 2007). Patients are no longer cared for by just nurses and doctors; multiple healthcare professionals now contribute to the care of patients which increases the need ...view middle of the document...

Patient Safety
The NMC (2008) urges nurses to work within a team to monitor the quality of care delivered and maintain the safety of the patient within their care. The Code (2008) states that all nurses ‘must work with others to protect and promote health and wellbeing of patients in a nurses care’. Seddon (2007, cited by Wallis, 2010) suggests that bedside handover can promote patient safety due to the ability to observe equipment, medications and intravenous lines whilst discussing the patient. the information that should be shared on handover should consist of the patients health condition, any relevant changes, medications, ongoing treatment, tests, examinations and any possible complications that may arise (WHO, 2007). Personal experiences have shown vital information being incorrect or missed on handovers putting patients safety at risk. An ineffective handover can contribute to patients falling through gaps in the system. Failures relating to patient safety include medication errors and patient deaths as found by Friesen et al (2008). Friesen et al (2008) states that 66% of medications errors occur during handover to other healthcare teams due to ineffective communication. Ineffective communication in healthcare settings is recognised by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (2013) as being the most common cause of organisational and clinical errors.
McMurray (2009) discovered nurses that worked different shifts, for example, short shifts, found they were not receiving as much information due to not arriving on shift at the same time as other nurses. They often receive rushed handovers and are misinformed of patient care; therefore putting patients at risk.
Kassean and Jagoo (2005) found that office based handovers consist of one way communication from the previous nurse in charge. This method was found to lack individual important information, patient care planning and whether actions had been documented throughout the shift as the notes could not be accessed during handover. Without the patients notes being present at handover, important information could be miss and the patients care could be compromised. From an organisational view, office based handovers appear to be time consuming and decreases the numbers of staff left on the ward for long periods of time meaning patients care could suffer (Avon and Wiltshire Trust, 2012). Personal experiences of office based handovers has concurred with this view of being time consuming; many irrelevant questions and discussions can occur as well as interruptions from staff on the ward needing assistance.
Sexton et al (2004) found that taped handovers nurses could be long winded with their information and foreign accents were often problematic. This could cause confusion putting patient safety at risk. Others problems identified with tape recorded handovers include nurses found to be nervous speaking into a tape recorder leading to rush the handover; the chance that the tape...

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