Junior Doctors working on the Orthopaedic wards at a district general hospital identified the lack of a formal weekend handover. The Royal Colleges,GMC and Foundation Programme curriculum all emphasise the importance of a safe and effective handover. Doctors found that the current system of using a written, paper-based handover was unreliable, un-legible, and inefficient. Baseline measurements were sought in the form of a questionnaire which allowed us to obtain the limitations to the current handover. After this and a focus group, a new electronic, ‘Microsoft Word’ based handover was created and a repeat surgery issued in 2 weeks. Further PDSA cycles over the course of 8 weeks helped to improve and implement the new handover. The overall rating, out of 10, of the new handover increased from 3.4 to 8. Doctors felt the new handover was safer for patients and could be used as a tool for reviewing or referring patients. This project describes the use of a simple, cost-effective intervention that helped to improve patient safety and staff satisfaction.
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