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Research objective 3

Identify and validate factors determining the success of integrating the patient care micro-system continuum

Building upon knowledge gained in meeting aims 1 and 2, a protocol containing the identified standardized elements for effective inpatient-outpatient handovers will be developed. Naturally emerging opinion leaders from each key stakeholder focus group will be identified and engaged in a facilitated process and content analysis designed to develop:

  • A protocol with standardized elements for handover processes including critical content checklist. Based on the identified best practices we intend to create a generally applicable tool for effective communication. Handovers vary throughout Europe in factors such as the medical and nursing staff involved, availability of resources and tools used in communication as well as cultural differences in communication. The idea of developing a single approach for all handovers is therefore not likely to be effective due to the diversity and complexity of healthcare. The process tool will therefore be aimed at providing basic elements for efficient communication that can be tailored to meet the individual, institutional and/or regional requirements.
  • A plan for implementation: Besides providing for a standardized communication model, we will develop a plan for implementation that will boost successful dissemination of the identified best practices.
  • A monitoring and evaluation plan: As the model itself should be a tool for successful communication the tools will be accompanied by a monitoring and evaluation plan. The monitoring and evaluation plan itself will be based on an evaluation of the clinical, education and financial impact of hand off intervention strategies, on patient welfare. This study will be part of our project.