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Improving the continuity of patient care through teaching and researching novel patient handover processes in Europe
Start date: Oct 1, 2012,

Handover is the accurate, reliable communication of task-relevant information between doctors and patients and from one care-giver to another. This occurs in many situations in health care. Improperly conducted handovers lead to wrong treatment, delays in medical diagnosis, life threatening adverse events, increased health care expenditure, increased hospital length of stay and a range of other effects that impact on the health system. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists inaccurate handovers as one of its High 5 patient safety initiatives.To overcome this situation education, research and innovative activities are demanded. Education in handover is fragmented and very limited available. Work is needed to establish clear competencies for handover training. Research is required to produce more robust evidence on the effectiveness of educational handover interventions and their ability to facilitate the transfer of skills to the workplace to improve patient safety. Innovation of current handover processes is highly required. The PATIENT project reinforces the contribution of higher education to the process of education, research and innovation in undergraduate medical education. It will develop a European study module for handover communication that will take advantage of innovative practice-oriented teaching and learning methods. The study module will combine formal, informal and problem-based learning scenarios for medical simulation centres where students can contribute empirical findings for accurate handovers. It will take advantage of the ready-to-use HANDOVER Toolbox, a virtual learning and knowledge exchange environment, and the CLAS mobile application that provides a digital handover protocol to standardise handover communication between different medical disciplines. The outcomes of the project will be disseminated to allied healthcare professions e.g nursing or retirement homes that also require accurate handover procedures.
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