Marija Bakula, Nada Čikeš
Patient handover is considered to be one of the most delicate medical procedures as well as the most preventable cause of medical error. It takes place at primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, with specificities at every level of healthcare. Improvement in the quality of patient handover is therefore essential for good medical practice. Accurate and comprehensive communication between medical staff is required for patient safety and continuous adequate healthcare. In this article, we describe recommendations for successful and efficient patient handover and highlight communication errors during the process. Special attention is given to handover of rheumatological
patients and transition from pediatric to adult healthcare. Also, we emphasize the necessity of education. Medical staff should be competent in sharing and exchanging relevant information when the patient transfers to another medical care provider. Teaching communication skills has been part of undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum in medical schools. At the Universitiy of Zagreb School of Medicine we have introduced a longitudinal six-year course Fundamentals of Medical Skills where special attention is given to communication skills. Nevertheless, medical specialty training still lacks educational contents specialized in patient handover and safe patient discharge.