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Implications for practice and research
Structured handover tools, clear explicit language and active communication can minimise risk for mis-communication or gaps in medication-related content of handover.
Research must shift from current reliance on verbal handover communication to examine complementary strategies to increase the reliability of handover information used to transfer responsibility and accountability for ongoing patient care.
Medication and communication errors during clinical handover are well recognised as significant contributors to preventable patient harm worldwide. This study by Braaf et al addresses the link between 2 of the 10 patient safety issues given prominence in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards1 introduced into the Australian health system in 2011: medication …