Strengthening communication during clinical handovers

Ensuring residents of aged care facilities receive best practice clinical handovers is a priority for residential aged care providers and hospital staff. Assisting with this priority is the ‘Yellow Envelope’, a joint initiative of Brisbane North PHN and Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Poor or absent clinical handover can have serious consequences for elderly people. It can result in delays in the provision of a diagnosis or treatment, tests being missed or duplicated and can lead to the wrong treatment or medication being administered. The yellow envelope was developed to help with these problems.
The A4-sized yellow envelope holds important information for clinical handover. Designed for use within the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay catchment to support the transfer of aged care residents to and from hospital, they feature printed prompts to ensure important information is included during the handover process.

Any hospital staff member or Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) within the Brisbane North PHN catchment who is required to complete a clinical handover of a patient/resident can use the yellow envelope.

The Yellow Envelope can contain the following documents:

  • medical assessment
  • transfer forms
  • care needs summary
  • copy of medication chart and current signing sheets
  • other information related to the transfer (i.e. referral, diagnostic results)
  • advanced health directive
  • statement of choices
  • enduring power of attorney.
  • hospital transfer documents
  • key contact person details and ward/department
  • medical records
  • discharge summary
  • type of discharge summary
  • acute resuscitation plan (ARP)
  • other relevant documents.

Contact Brisbane North PHN on 07 3630 7300 or email community.care@brisbanenorthphn.org.au for more information or to order yellow envelopes.