Project Info

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, patient complaints, increased health care expenditure, increased hospital length of stay and a range of other effects that impact on the health system [1].

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists inaccurate handovers as one of its High 5 patient safety initiatives [2]. The need for handover training in undergraduate medical education has been succinctly elucidated [3]. Training and education in handover is fragmented and limited in undergraduate medical curricula. A paucity of research exists investigating interventions to improve handover. 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, the ultimate aim of which is to improve patient safety. This change is dependent on a novel combination and integration of the knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation to deliver a comprehensive new approach to teaching and learning for handover in medical education.

The PATIENT project amalgamates the knowledge triangle of education, research, innovation and provides pioneering solutions for handover in undergraduate medical education. PATIENT will transfer and adapt the processes, skills, tools, guidelines and models of handover currently in use.Learning outcomes will focus on the culture of patient safety, leadership, task allocation, prediction and planning, communication, teamwork, discipline and composure, situation awareness, decision-making, stress, and the work environment.

PATIENT will use innovative teaching and learning processes including explorative and practice-oriented learning by role-based learning approaches in simulation centres. The evidence supporting simulation-based training for health professionals is robust [4]. Simulation forms the core of PATIENT to enable skill development, transfer, and maintenance that can support the learner from novice to expert, from the classroom to the workplace in a safe and controlled manner. Download here the project flyer.


[1]  Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Root causes of sentinel events. http://www.jointcommission.org/SentinelEvents/Statistics/

[3]  Gordon, M. and Findley, R. (2011), Educational interventions to improve handover in health care: a systematic review. Medical Education, 45: 1081–1089.

[4] Cook DA, Hatala R, Brydges R, et al. Technology-enhanced simulation for health professions education: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2011;306(9):978–988.