Handover--Enabling Learning in Communication for Safety (HELiCS): a report on achievements at two hospital sites.

Rick Iedema, Eamon T. Merrick, Ross Kerridge, Robert Herkes, Bonne Lee, Mike Anscombe, Dorrilyn Rajbhandari, Mark Lucey, Les White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical handover is an area of critical concern, because deficiencies in handover pose a patient safety risk. Redesign of handover must allow for input from frontline staff to ensure that designs fit into existing practices and settings. The HELiCS (Handover--Enabling Learning in Communication for Safety) tool uses a "video-reflexive" technique: handover encounters are videotaped and played back to the practitioners involved for analysis and discussion. Using the video-reflexive process, staff of an emergency department and an intensive care unit at two different tertiary hospitals redesigned their handover processes. The HELiCS study gave staff greater insight into previously unrecognised clinical and operational problems, enhanced coordination and efficiency of care, and strengthened junior-senior communication and teaching. Our study showed that reflexive and "bottom-up" handover redesign can produce outcomes that harbour local fit, practitioner ownership and (to date) sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number11 Suppl
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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