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  1. Sanjuan-Quiles, Angela PhD, RN
  2. Hernandez-Ramon, Maria del Pilar MSc
  3. Julia-Sanchis, Rocio PhD, RN
  4. Garcia-Aracil, Noelia PhD, RN
  5. Castejon-de la Encina, M[feminine ordinal indicator] Elena PhD, RN
  6. Perpina-Galvan, Juana PhD


Background: During the transfer of patients, both ambulance and hospital emergency service professionals need to exchange necessary, precise, and complete information for an effective handover. Some factors threaten a quality handover such as excessive caseload, patients with multiple comorbidities, limited past medical history, and frequent interruptions.


Purpose: To explore the viewpoint of nurses on their experience of patient handovers, describing the essential aspects of the process and areas for improvement, and establishing standardized elements for an effective handover.


Methods: A qualitative research method was used.


Results: Nurses identified the need to standardize the patient transfer process by a written record to support the verbal handover and to transmit patient information adequately, in a timely manner, and in a space free of interruptions, in order to increase patient safety.


Conclusions: An organized method does not exist. The quality of handovers could be enhanced by improvements in communication and standardizing the process.