Electronic medical handover: towards safer medical care

Med J Aust. 2005 Oct 3;183(7):369-72. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb07086.x.


As the working hours of junior doctors decrease, adequate handover of patients becomes more important to maintain continuity of care and avoid errors caused by information gaps. A minimum dataset for surgical handover should include the patient's name, location (ward and bed number), date of admission, diagnosis, procedure (with date), complications and progress, management plan, resuscitation plan, consultant availability (and instructions if not available), expected need for review, and name of doctor completing handover and date to confirm that information is current. An electronic handover system is a potential solution, but our survey shows that free-text entry into such systems may be inadequate; prompts or predefined fields for handover content are possible solutions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Documentation / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Medical Informatics Applications*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Management / methods*
  • Victoria