The handover of a patient in the pre-hospital setting is different to other handover settings and therefore requires a different definition and description to that of other patient handover environments. Identifying those factors that affect the efficacy of handover could provide useful for formulating improvement strategies.
This research set out to describe the negative experiences of pre-hospital emergency care personnel handing over in the emergency centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a view to identifying potential areas for improvement. This paper reports on responses to an open-ended question that formed part of a purpose-designed, paper-based questionnaire that formed part of a mixed-methods study.
Data were collected from pre-hospital emergency care personnel within Johannesburg, South Africa. Responses from 140 participants were captured verbatim into Atlas.ti® for coding, analysis and interpretation using a qualitative descriptive methodology. Two themes were generated from a qualitative descriptive analysis of the data: communication barriers, and process barriers to emergency centre handover. These were confirmed by the categories and codes that made up these themes.
This study identifies some of the factors perceived by pre-hospital emergency care personnel to negatively affect emergency centre handover. It provides insights into how communication and process within the emergency centre have the potential to negatively impact emergency centre handover efficacy.
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