Introduction: High-acuity patients are typically transported directly to the emergency centre via ambulance by trained prehospital care providers. As such, the emergency centre becomes the first of many physical transition points for patients, where a change of care provider (or handover) takes place. The aim of this study was to describe the variables perceived to be important during patient handover by a cohort of South African prehospital care providers. Methods: A purpose-designed questionnaire was used to gather data related to prehospital emergency care provider opinions on the importance of certain patient variables. Results: We collected 175 completed questionnaires from 75 (43%) BAA, 49 (28%) ANA, 15 (9%) ECT, 16 (9%) ANT and 20 (11%) ECP respondents. Within the ten handover variables perceived to be most important for inclusion in emergency centre handover, five were related to vital signs. Blood pressure was ranked most important, followed by type of major injuries, anatomical location of major injuries, pulse rate, respiration rate and patient history. These were followed by Glasgow Coma Score, injuries sustained, patient priority, oxygen saturations and patient allergies. Conclusion: This study has provided some interesting results related to which handover elements prehospital care providers consider as most important to include in handover. More research is required to correlate these findings with the opinions of emergency centre staff.
Makkink, A. W., Stein, C. O. A., Bruijns, S. R., & Gottschalk, S. (2019). The variables perceived to be important during patient handover by South African prehospital care providers. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 9(2), 87–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2019.01.014