Improving clinical handover in a paediatric ward: implications for nursing management

Trudi Mannix, Yvonne Parry, Allison Roderick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: To describe how nursing staff in a paediatric ward improved the conduct of clinical handover, using a practise development approach. 

    Background: ISBAR (Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) is a mnemonic tool to aid the safe transfer of patient information in clinical handover. The nurses identified the need to improve the use of ISBAR, and other issues related to handover that could compromise patient safety and constrain family-centred care. 

    Method: Sixty-one percent of nurses on the ward contributed to issue identification and the design of the educational material, including a set of written and video resources and incorporating the role of a handover coach. Staff performance was evaluated before and after access to the resources using self-administered Likert scales, observation and a focus group. 

    Results: After the intervention, there was a stronger relationship between the participants’ understanding of ISBAR and their application of it in handover. Further, there were statistically significant increases in improved handover practises, including family inclusion and safety checks. 

    Implications for nursing management: A practise development approach is useful in the provision of education to guide clinical performance in patient handover. Nurse managers can use this approach to empower their staff to make positive changes to practise.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-222
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Nursing Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


    • clinical handoff
    • nursing
    • patient handover
    • practise development
    • quality improvement


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