Good clinical handover is critical for ensuring that patients get the best possible healthcare. Handover of clinical information is important during in-patient shift-to-shift change and when patients are discharged from in-patients, referred and seen in outpatients by the same or different healthcare providers.
Clinical handover is especially vital in those with chronic conditions since patients need repeated visits to a range of healthcare providers and need to understand how to care for themselves at home in order to maintain a seamless ongoing healthcare for their long-term conditions. Therefore, handover is also the foundation of continuity, safety and quality of care between primary and secondary care services. In lower and middle-income countries (LMIC), clinical handover has a low profile and is often neglected.
Our program aims to investigate the state of clinical handover, both in terms of communication between care providers and between care providers and patients. We wish to use this knowledge to improve awareness of this important missing link in quality of care improvement of health systems in LMIC and to develop cost-effective interventions to optimise clinical handover in the global healthcare settings.