Clinical Handover in the Department of General Internal Medicine Print

This project funded in part by the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation explores shift-to-shift clinical handover and clinical handover improvement that is grounded in participant experiences. Adopting a user-centred approach, this project further engages the participants in the development and implementation of an electronic tool to support the clinical handover process.

The research strategy involved a three phased approach. Phase One involved the use of thirty-eight observation sessions and seventeen semi-structured interviews with three clinician groups groups - interns, registrars and consultants, to facilitate an in-depth understanding of clinical handover and clinical handover improvement within the Department of General Internal Medicine and also build rapport and trust with the participants. Phase Two involved the use of two focus groups with one group consisting of six interns and the other consisting of five registrars to validate the results obtained from Phase One before moving forward with design of the electronic tool. All participants were then invited to participate in four design workshops to work through the requirements of the electronic tool. Phase Three consisted of ten further observation sessions and fourteen semi-structured interviews after the introduction of the electronic tool to further explore the participant’s understanding, expectations and experiences of clinical handover after involving them in the clinical handover improvement initiative. The data collected through all three phases were analysed using open axial and selective coding drawing on the principles of grounded theory.