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Fresh perspectives on handover research

Handovers in physician postgraduate training continue to be a troubling source of error. This is highlighted by fresh perspectives in this issue of QSHC provided by five reports and a commentary from the US, UK, and Australia. Scholars in both the US and UK emphasize that effective handovers must be mastered systematically as a competency. All highlight the role of professional responsibility in assuring the safe, successful and informative handover. In one of the US studies, less than two-thirds of the combined oral and written sign-outs describe the patient’s clinical condition, hospital course, and whether or not there was a task to be completed by the covering physician. While the content of the handover has been a focus of many studies, the …

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