Are Handovers of Patient Information from Crisis Teams to Hospitals Done Properly?


Community-based mental health crisis assessment teams tend to transfer clinical and historical information about clients to in-patient psychiatric units, but frequently do not transfer information about the clients’ own wishes and preferences, according to a study in the Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

“No previous research has investigated the handover between crisis assessment and treatment teams and inpatient psychiatric units, despite the importance of handover to care planning,” noted the researchers. “The aim of the present study was to identify the nature and types of information transferred during these handovers, and to explore how these guides initial care planning.”

Led by Deakin University researchers, the study examined the transfer of verbal and document information about people from community-based mental health teams to a major tertiary referral hospital in Melbourne, Australia for five months in 2013.

“Clinical information, including psychiatric history and mental state, were handed over consistently,” the researchers found. “(H)owever, information about consumer preferences was reported less consistently. The present study identified a lack of attention to consumer preferences at handover, despite the current focus on recovery-oriented models for mental health care, and the centrality of respecting consumer preferences within the recovery paradigm.”

(Abstract) Handover of patient information from the crisis assessment and treatment team to the inpatient psychiatric unit (Waters, Amanda et al. Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Published online before print December 1, 2014. DOI: 10.1111/inm.12102)


  1. This would be very valuable research additionally if the US were too engage in this important project as well. It seems that in some instances political influence, economic driven professionals and policy has taken priority vs. “recovery”. Here in NH, not much is public pertaining to data outcomes; yet the “rule of law” mentions “recovery/wellness” minimally (1+ times ish!) of the 28 pages recognized, unfortunately for those under “care”, this has become the method of determination- sadly, not the preferences of a service beneficiary.
    One may surmise this would lead to longevity of income generating services by providers in order to sustain profitability as an organization vs. best interests of individuals needs, that lead to “recovery” and release from such crisis intervention.
    Thank you for this article.

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  2. Here’s the problem for me with all of this.

    I am not a “consumer” if I am forced to buy or use a product! Why they play this word game and call people who are forced into so-called “treatment” consumers is totally ludicrous and laughable. How stupid do they think we are?

    Consumers choose what they want; people who are forced by the system to take the toxic drugs and live on locked units against their will are not consumers by any stretch of the imagination. We are forced to “consume” their toxic drugs which assure that we’ll always be coming back but we ourselves are not “consumers” in the sense of the word as they use it. So, it’s no wonder at all to me that the personal preferences of the “consumers” are not communicated to the “in-patient” facility.

    Let’s face it and be real. We are commodities for the system, we are not “consumers.” Commodities do not have personal preferences since commodities are a means to an end and nothing else. We are there to generate money for the system and they have a vested interest in keeping us coming back for their “product.” So, we are forced to accept what we do not want. But we are never “consumers.”

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  3. RE :We are there to generate money for the system and they have a vested interest in keeping us coming back for their “product.”

    You have that sooo right.

    Universal Health Services, (UHS, Inc.) in the news. UHS, Inc. is frequently in the news for substandard care, abuse, and fraud.

    This site is dedicated to all the people who were harmed or killed in UHS facilities . They speak for those who have no voice, to protect others from experiencing the pain they endured.

    For the entire 2012 fiscal year, UHS posted a FAT bottom line. Profit was up 11.4 percent to $443.4 million. Revenue increased 3 percent to more than $6.96 billion, and UHS’ adjusted EBITDA stood at $1.23 billion. As of Dec. 31, UHS also has more than $1.4 billion in assets.

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