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Evaluation of the National Clinical Handover Initiative Pilot Program (Australia)

International Literature

posted by Research Admin on 20 April 2011

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In 2010 the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care engaged Grosvenor Management Consulting to undertake an external evaluation of the National Clinical Handover Initiative Pilot Program.
The aim was to evaluate how successful the Pilot Program (encompassing the fourteen individual projects) has been at meeting its objectives. The objectives of the Pilot Program were:

  • to achieve significant, sustained and measurable reductions in communication gaps
  • to develop reliable measures of impact on patient outcomes
  • to achieve national learning on handover across the continuum of care
  • to develop standardised operating protocols for handover based on the best available evidence and designed to accelerate systemic improvement

Grosvenor Management Consulting carried out the evaluation in three stages, including: reviewing policy and program evidence on clinical handover at jurisdictional levels and for other stakeholders; analysing the outcomes, impacts, spread and sustainability of the individual pilot projects; and reporting on achievements of the National Clinical Handover Initiative Pilot Program.

The evaluation found that overall the Pilot Program has:

  • raised the profile of clinical handover as a key safety and quality issue and established a national impetus for change
  • fostered expertise and clinical handover champions for change
  • embedded improved handover in a number of Australian health services
  • developed a range of tools for improving different types of handover across different settings
  • reinforced the need for effective approaches to change, spread and sustainability
  • contributed to jurisdictional handover priorities and policies
  • created a body of published work on pilot processes, outcomes and lessons learned
  • identified gaps in handover knowledge and practice for further investment and development.

The full evaluation findings are available in the Final Report (PDF 1876 KB). The Final Report also details eight recommendations for future areas of work within clinical handover which the Commission will consider and work towards according to national clinical handover priorities.