Improving the safety of patient transfer from AMU using a written checklist

D. Hindmarsh, Liz Lees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Unsafe patient transfers are one of the top reasons for incident reporting in hospitals. Criteria guiding safe transfer have been issued by the NHS Litigation Authority. To meet this standard, a "transfer check list" was redesigned for all patients leaving the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) in the Heartlands Hospital. Following the introduction of the checklist two full audit cycles were conducted. The first cycle highlighted an extremely poor uptake of the checklist. After interventions to educate nursing staff and raise awareness of the issues at the regular staff meetings, re-audit demonstrated significant improvement in completion rate. Subsequent monitoring indicates continued improvement, with compliance up to 95% for completion of the transfer checklist on AMU. Incident reporting relating to transfer has also decreased significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalAcute Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute medical unit
  • Communication
  • Handover
  • Patient safety
  • Patient transfer
  • Transfer checklist/tool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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