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NP-012 Improving the clinical pharmacist handover process using an adapted ISBAR communication tool when transferring patients from Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) to an intensive care unit (ICU) within Cork University Hospital (CUH)
  1. Maria Mulrooney,
  2. Alana Dineen,
  3. Joan Ryan,
  4. Deirdre Lynch


Introduction Clinical handover has been identified, both nationally and internationally, as a high-risk step in a patient’s hospital journey. Barriers such as poor communication can contribute to variations in practice.1

The use of different electronic healthcare records between CUMH and the ICU in CUH can lead to timely and ineffective handover. In order to ensure clinical handover of critical patients from CUMH to CUH is not jeopardised, an ISBAR tool was adapted to standardise the patient handover process between clinical pharmacists.


  • To implement a communication handover tool for pharmacists, to optimise patient safety and reduce risk of error or miscommunication between electronic healthcare records, when critically unwell patients are transferred from CUMH to the CUH ICU.

  • To determine the benefit of this tool by assessing pharmacist responses.

Method The National Clinical Guideline ISBAR communication tool2 was adapted for pharmacist use in CUMH for safer transfer of obstetrics and gynaecology patients and their identified requirements.

To evaluate the benefit of the tool, a survey questionnaire was distributed to ICU pharmacists for feedback.

Conclusion At time of abstract submission, the ISBAR tool was newly implemented. Feedback from users was limited but positive.

Since implementation in January 2023, the ISBAR tool was completed for 100% of patients transferring to ICU.

Pharmacist feedback reported satisfaction with the communication method, usability of the tool, accuracy and efficiency of the handover.


  1. Department of Health (2014). Communication (Clinical Handover) in Maternity Services National Clinical Guideline No. 5. Dublin: Stationary Office.

  2. Department of Health (2015). Clinical handover in Acute and Children’s Hospital Services National Clinical Guideline No. 11. Dublin: Stationary Office.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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