Operating Room-to-ICU Patient Handovers: A Multidisciplinary Human-Centered Design Approach.
BACKGROUND: Patient handovers (handoffs) following surgery have often been characterized by poor teamwork, unclear procedures, unstructured processes, and distractions. A study was conducted to apply a human-centered approach to the redesign of operating room (OR)-to-ICU patient handovers in a broad surgical ICU (SICU) population. This approach entailed (1) the study of existing practices, (2) the redesign of the handover on the basis of the input of hand over participants and evidence in the medical literature, and (3) the study of the effects of this change on processes and communication. METHODS: The Durham [North Carolina] Veterans Affairs Medical Center SICU is an 11-bed mixed surgical specialty unit. To understand the existing process for receiving postoperative patients in the SICU, ethnographic methods-a series of observations, surveys, interviews, and focus groups-were used. The handover process was redesigned to better address providers' work flow, information needs, and expectations, as well as concerns identified in the literature. RESULTS: Technical and communication flaws were uncovered, and the handover was redesigned to address them. For the 49 preintervention and 49 postintervention handovers, the information transfer score and number of interruptions were not significantly different. However, staff workload and team behaviors scores improved significantly, while the hand over duration was not prolonged by the new process. Handover participants were also significantly more satisfied with the new handover method. CONCLUSIONS: An HCD approach led to improvements in the patient handover process from the OR to the ICU in a mixed adult surgical population. Although the specific handover process would unlikely be optimal in another clinical setting if replicated exactly, the HCD foundation behind the redesign process is widely applicable.
Segall, N; Bonifacio, AS; Barbeito, A; Schroeder, RA; Perfect, SR; Wright, MC; Emery, JD; Atkins, BZ; Taekman, JM; Mark, JB
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