Neonatal intensive care unit handoffs: a pilot study on core elements and epidemiology of errors.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To define the core data elements of a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) handoff compare NICU residents' written and verbal handoff data with real-time, auto-populated data and identify the epidemiology of handoff errors. STUDY DESIGN: We defined nine core data elements for a NICU patient handoff. We then compared residents' written and verbal handoffs against real-time, auto-populated data for each core element. RESULT: A total of 101 NICU patient handoffs (31 unique patients) were analyzed. Per patient, residents made more written errors for infants in critical-care beds than for infants in step-down beds (2.33 vs 1.67, P=0.04). Replacing residents' written handoffs with the gold-standard, auto-populated data would have prevented 92% of written errors. CONCLUSION: NICU infants are subjected to many handoff errors. Sicker infants are at higher risk for error. Auto-population can reduce written handoff errors and allow residents more time for training and educational opportunities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Derienzo, C; Lenfestey, R; Horvath, M; Goldberg, R; Ferranti, J

Published Date

  • February 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 149 - 152

PubMed ID

  • 24263556

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24263556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-5543

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/jp.2013.146


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States