THE SAFETY OF HANDOVER AND TRANSITIONS OF CARE

A survey of clinicians and healthcare leaders regarding clinical safety

On World Patient Safety Day 2021, the CAREFUL team has undertaken to launch a research survey into the sentiments of healthcare professionals on handover. Through our research into the risks associated with handover, barriers to effective transfer and the tools currently being used to improve the process, we intend to address what we understand to be one of the principal poorly controlled risks in healthcare. Read more here.

Use this page to learn more about who we are, our research and why we think handover and transitions of care are important topics. 

If you choose to take part in our anonymous survey, your answers will help improve the care of patients and service users and support the CAREFUL team in our efforts to underscore the need for changes to clinical practice. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You have reached this page because you clicked on a link in one of our emails, social media posts or the introduction page of our survey. 

What is this research?

We are undertaking a online global survey of healthcare practitioners on their experiences, and opinions regarding handover and transitions of care.

We define these as: peer-to-peer handover (e.g. shift handover); internal referrals (e.g. where one unit or team passes responsibility to another); and discharges and transfers (e.g. where a patient is moved to and from one setting to another such as to-or-from home).

The survey consists primarily of single-choice and multiple choice questions. It takes about 5 minutes to complete.

Why is this is an important topic?

Handover and transitions of care in healthcare create significant clinical risks in all settings. All practitioners undertake these activities at some point. Patients undergo many transitions and handovers during their journey through healthcare settings.

The evidence is clear that many are harmed because of errors during these processes. In summary, poor communication in healthcare is the source of patient harm.

Recently the WHO have published their Global Patient Safety Action Plan. In this action plan, the WHO says that healthcare facilities and services should implement improvements in communication during transitions of care. It also says that healthcare leaders should promote research in this area.

We believe that handover is an under-recognised and under-researched area of clinical risk.

Read more about our motivations for undertaking this research here.

Who can complete the survey?

This survey is open to you if you are a healthcare practitioner or leader in any setting, in any discipline. You may be a nurse, doctor, allied health professional or manager. You may work in acute, community, mental health or ancillary services.

You may answer the survey wherever you work in the world. Although the survey (and this page) are in English, we welcome and encourage contributions from all and any country, recognising that English may not be your first language. 

How is the survey being deployed?

We have shared the survey on our social media platforms, as well as asking networks of colleges, hospitals and other institutions to send the survey link to their members and employees.

You are welcome to forward our email or social media posts to your colleagues and peers in order to increase the number of respondents.

Who is leading this research?

Dr DJ Hamblin-Brown FRCEM

Senior Emergency medicine doctor. Previously Group Medical Director for Aspen Healthcare, London and United Family Healthcare, Beijing

Dr Johann Grundlingh, FRCEM MBA FFICM
Dual qualified ICM and EM consultant at Barts Healthcare NHS trust. CEO of SFR Medical.
Ms Judi Ingram, RGN, BSc, DMS, MSc

Divisional Vice President of Quality, HCA Healthcare, London

Mr David Wright, BEd, MHMS, MBA

Ex-CEO Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; Chairman Improvement Foundation, Australia

Research support:

Dr Julia Craggs

5th year Medical Student, Bristol University

Who is sponsoring this research?

Careful Systems Limited has agreed to fund the research. The company is registered in England (10176186) and is registered with the UK Information Commissioners Office (ZA249706). Careful systems has developed a software product called the CAREFUL platform, an application that helps multidisciplinary clinical teams reduce the risks associated with handover and transfers of care.

Will you collect my personal data?

We are not collecting any personally identifiable data or health-related data. We ask about your profession, your seniority and your country of work. We also ask how long you have worked in healthcare.

You have the option to provide an email address to which we will send the results of this survey. 

Is this research covered by an ethics committee?

This survey is anonymous. By  completing the survey you are giving your implied consent to the gathering of this data. No personal or sensitive information about you is being gathered. We are also not seeking information about patients, relatives or carers or about the specifics of patient care. This makes ethics oversight unnecessary.

To support this, we have applied the UK Health Research Authority tool and our answers indicates that ethical committee approval is not required for this research in England. This gives us confidence that such approval is not required elsewhere. You can see our answers here.

How will the survey results be used?

The results will be analysed and written up for a peer reviewed journal and used to promote further interest and research in this area of clinical risk. If you provide your email address when you complete the survey, we will send the results to you.

What if I have further questions?

You are welcome to email us on handoversafetysurvey@careful.online