The Handover Toolbox: a knowledge exchange and training platform for improving patient care

Hendrik Drachsler, Wendy Kicken, Marcel Van der Klink, Slavi Stoyanov, Els Boshuizen, Paul Barach

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    Backgrund: Safe and effective patient handovers remain a global organisational and training challenge. Limited evidence supports available handover training programmes. Customisable training is a promising approach to improve the quality and sustainability of handover training and outcomes. Objective: We present a Handover Toolbox designed in the context of the European HANDOVER Project. The Toolbox aims to support physicians, nurses, individuals in health professions training, medical educators and handover experts by providing customised handover training tools for different clinical needs and contexts. Methods: The Handover Toolbox uses the Technology Enhanced Learning Design Process (TEL-DP), which encompasses user requirements analysis; writing personas; group concept mapping; analysis of suitable software; plus, minus, interesting rating; and usability testing. TEL-DP is aligned with participatory design approaches and ensures development occurs in close collaboration with, and engagement of, key stakeholders. Results: Application of TEL-DP confirmed that the ideal formats of handover training differs for practicing professionals versus individuals in health profession education programmes. Training experts from different countries differed in their views on the optimal content and delivery of training. Analysis of suitable software identified ready-to-use systems that provide required functionalities and can be further customised to users’ needs. Interest rating and usability testing resulted in improved usability, navigation and uptake of the Handover Toolbox. Conclusions: The design of the Handover Toolbox was based on a carefully led stakeholder participatory design using the TEL-DP approach. The Toolbox supports a customisable learning approach that allows trainers to design training that addresses the specific information needs of the various target groups. We offer recommendations regarding the application of the Handover Toolbox to medical educators.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)i114-i120
    Number of pages7
    JournalBritish Medical Journal Quality & Safety
    Issue numberSuppl.1
    Early online date21 Nov 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2012


    • handover toolbox
    • patient safety
    • hospitals
    • toolbox
    • participatory design
    • quality of care
    • medical education
    • e-learning
    • patient handover


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