The World Health Organization stated in 2007 that the passing of patient-related information is intended to ensure continuity of care and safety in the transition between caregivers, caregivers and patient/family, shifts, wards and settings. This moment of exchange has now become an integral part of daily work, given the frequent need to exchange information both formally and informally even several times a day(1). It is a very important moment within the process of caring for a person; in fact, the exchange is both in terms of sharing information for the purpose of comparison and decision-making, and in terms of taking responsibility for the patient's care pathway and ensuring its continuation (2).
The increase in adverse events and relational discomfort between health professionals and between health professionals and patients often seems to be due to poor communication and operational misunderstandings. The emerging communication problem seems to have several causes(3): increasing complexity of care, increase in co-morbidities of in-patients, increase in the number of competencies attributed to each professional (basic, transversal, high), number of professionals involved in the care pathway, need to respond to complexity both with a technical-procedural approach and with decisions based on confrontation, common sense and opinions of professionals(4). Differences in age and experience between practitioners, the use of different communication styles may lead to difficulties in the exchange of information. Finally, within each care setting, work processes, relationships between the various professions, communication barriers play a decisive role.
Poor and inaccurate handover is estimated to be responsible for 80% of preventable serious adverse events.
The consequences in terms of harm to the patient, organisational malaise for staff, and costs for health care companies, have in recent years stimulated the analysis of 'patient care' activities, with the aim of investigating the criticalities that may arise and their causes, and the search for effective and efficient solutions(3).
The transfer of information between physiotherapists generally takes place in the event that the practitioner in charge of the physiotherapy programme needs to transfer responsibility for the continuation of that programme to a colleague. In the last decade, the planning of physiotherapy intervention, always strictly outcome-based, has undergone significant changes. Nowadays, the intervention of the physiotherapist is not limited to highly rehabilitative settings, but is also recommended in early or advanced phases of the patient's care process during which individual programmes are carried out in specialised but non-rehabilitative settings.
The handover can be transferred in different ways: verbal, written, at the patient's bedside. Typically, physiotherapists used verbal delivery supplemented by the paper documentation already in use and available for consultation at any time: the daily diary, the functional assessment, the team cards when present. In recent years, verbal delivery alone has proven insufficient to respond to the complexity of the organisation, often professionals do not meet in person, secondly, the amount of information is numerous; therefore, it is difficult to remember everything by heart and in particular to select the necessary information to be transferred. Written deliveries make it possible to quickly assess and redistribute the daily workload of the entire care unit in the event of organisational needs. In view of the emerging need to standardise handover between physiotherapists, an improvement project was set up in 2019 aimed at incorporating a flexible and standardised tool for the exchange of handovers in the Rehabilitation Operating Unit, which would be adapted to the different physiotherapy settings and programmes. In particular, inspiration was taken from the recent implementation in the Medical Area of the SBAR (acronym Situation, Background, Assessment, Raccomandation) (5) method (implemented in 2018), also for the rehabilitation area, a standardised method that is effective in guaranteeing the correct exchange of information and consequently safety and continuity of care.