Clinical handover improvement follow-up

The two-decade longitudinal follow up study at the original site of the Australian Clinical Handover Improvement Initiative to guide patient safety improvement interventions

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Medical errors are common. One of the highest risk activities in clinical practice is during clinical care transition, such as clinical handover, patient care transfer or discharge.

The University of Tasmania in collaboration with the Royal Hobart Hospital conducted the primary research in clinical handover from 2014-2018, which subsequently formed the Australian National Clinical Handover guideline and the Australian Healthcare Accreditation Standard 6. The research also informed the World Health Organisation standardised operating protocol for clinical handover improvement.

Despite widespread utilisation of standardised operating protocols in clinical handover, issues associated with clinical handover continue to affect patient care. Furthermore, longitudinal follow up of large-scale systemic patient safety interventions has been lacking, especially in clinical handover. This study aims to address these issues by conducting evaluation of clinical handover practices at the primary site of initial research that derive the standardised practice, led by the team of initial researchers, to understand factors that determine outcomes of patient safety initiatives especially in clinical handover.

Research aims:
This research aims to understand current clinical handover practices, two decades after the initial clinical handover improvement projects at the primary site, in order to provide guidance on longitudinal outcomes of large-scale patient safety interventions.

Research objectives:
1. To develop an understanding of current clinical handover practices from clinicians’ point of view.
2. To analyse current clinical handover practices and improvement priority
3. To develop, pilot testing and conduct a longitudinal follow-up study on large-scale patient safety interventions to guide future clinical handover practices.

This project will utilise published research methodology in previous studies, at the original pilot site, to gain insights into the impact of patient safety interventions. Potential candidates are advised to read through previous publications by the supervisor on this topic prior to discussion on potential specific projects

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Kwang Yee


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • An understanding of qualitative and quantitative research
  • Background in clinical practice
  • Ability to be flexible on timing, including availability on weekends and afterhours
  • A driving license and/or ability to travel to hospital afterhours or weekends

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Preferably a healthcare practitioner

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Kwang Yee to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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