Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
End-of-shift surgical handover. mixed-methods, multicentre evaluation and recommendations for improvement.pdf (191.2 kB)

End-of-shift surgical handover: mixed-methods, multicentre evaluation and recommendations for improvement

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-07, 15:35 authored by Jessica RyanJessica Ryan, Anastasija SimicevaAnastasija Simiceva, Walter Eppich, Dara KavanaghDara Kavanagh, Deborah McNamaraDeborah McNamara

Handover is defined as ‘the exchange between health professionals of information about a patient’ and accompanies a transfer of responsibility for that patient. Ineffective handover harms patients, incurs significant monetary and opportunity costs, and causes 40% of communication-related malpractice claims. Surgical patients are vulnerable to such communication failures.

Despite published handover guidelines, implementation is poor and no ‘standard’ exists. Previous studies have audited surgical handover; however, few used qualitative methods to explore the impact of behaviours and context, and no interventional studies rigorously applied an implementation framework, so enablers and barriers remain poorly understood. A comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation of surgical handover is required to determine the causes of poor compliance with guidelines.

The aim of this study was to assess adherence to international guidelines during post-call general surgical handover, to identify barriers to guideline compliance and to develop recommendations for process improvements.


Bon Secours Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, via the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) StAR MD Programme (grant agreement 22253A01)

Medical Protection Society (MPS) Foundation (grant agreement 23017A01)


Data Availability Statement

The authors agree to make the data, analytic methods and study materials available to other researchers. These can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author using the details provided. Additional data has not been published in a public repository.


The original article is available at

Published Citation

Ryan JM, Simiceva A, Eppich W, Kavanagh DO, McNamara DA. End-of-shift surgical handover: mixed-methods, multicentre evaluation and recommendations for improvement. BJS Open. 2024;8(2):zrae023.

Publication Date

3 April 2024

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • SIM Centre for Simulation Education and Research
  • Surgical Affairs
  • Surgery


Oxford University Press (OUP)


  • Published Version (Version of Record)

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