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Patient safety and sociotechnical considerations for electronic handover tools in an Australian ehealth landscape
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by C Showell, Matthew Thomas, M Wong, K Yee, S Miller, C Pirone, P Turner
The Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) coordinates national improvements in a range of complex health system problems including clinical handover, and has funded a range of handover improvement projects in Australia. One of these, the SafeTECH project in South Australia has developed guidelines for safe use of electronic handover tools. These guidelines were developed using evidence from three hospital case studies into theuse of an electronic tool to support different types of shift-to-shift handover. This paper provides an overview of the project, and highlights challenges for patient safety in the design and use of electronic tools to support clinical handover in a busy clinical environment. The paper then considers these challenges within the broader context of the Australian ehealth landscape. Australia’s National eHealth Transition Authority (NEHTA) is actively developing ehealth standards and infrastructure requirements for the electronic collection and secure exchange of health information. The paper argues for flexible standardisation in the design and implementation of electronic handover tools to ensure that all key dimensions of the challenges faced in ensuring patient safety are addressed.