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Continuity matters: Examining the ‘information gap’ in transfer from Residential Aged Care, ambulance to emergency triage in southern Tasmania


Campbell, B and Stirling, C and Cummings, E, Continuity matters: Examining the information gap' in transfer from Residential Aged Care, ambulance to emergency triage in southern Tasmania, International Emergency Nursing, 32 pp. 9-14. ISSN 1755-599X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ienj.2016.05.001


Background: Transfer of older people from Residential Aged Care Facilities to Emergency Departments requires multiple comprehensive handovers across different services. Significant information gaps exist in transferred information despite calls for standards.

Aim: To investigate: (1) presence of minimum standard elements in the transfer text written by RACF nurses, paramedics and ED triage nurses, and (2) the transfer documentation used by services.

Methods: We analysed retrospective cross-sectional transfer narratives from the digital medical record system of an Australian tertiary referral hospital using the mnemonic SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment Recommendation) as the measure of comprehensiveness. Transfer documents from 3 groups were also reviewed.

Findings: Inclusion of elements from SBAR was inconsistent across transfer. Rather, the written narratives focused on concerns relevant to the immediate priority, the type of information imposed by the document(s) in use, and clinical role of the author.

Conclusion: Transfer documentation from Residential Aged Care nurses, paramedics and ED triage nurses do not contain comprehensive information of older persons complex conditions. Better communication between non-affiliated organisations is needed to improve timely appropriate care for RACF residents.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:emergency service, ambulance, paramedic, documentation, transfer, Australia, hospital, interdisciplinary communication, retrospective studies, triage
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Acute care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Campbell, B (Dr Briony Campbell)
UTAS Author:Stirling, C (Professor Christine Stirling)
UTAS Author:Cummings, E (Associate Professor Liz Cummings)
ID Code:109492
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-06-20
Last Modified:2017-12-22

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