Handovers need a common ground on the clinical cases between the members of the successive shifts to establish continuity of care. Conventional electronic patient record systems (EHR) proved to be only insufficiently suitable for supporting the grounding process. Against this background we proposed a basic concept for a handover EHR that extends general EHRs in particular openEHR based systems. The resulting handover information model was implemented in a database and evaluated based on 120 clinical cases. The information items of these cases could be mapped successfully to the model, however, the new class “anticipatory guidance” needed to be introduced. The evaluation also demonstrated the importance of highly aggregated information on the clinical case, opinions and meta-information such as the relevance of an item during handovers. Based on these findings, in particular the handover database, handover EHR applications are currently developed to support the grounding process.
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