Adaptation of a postoperative handoff communication process for children with heart disease: a quantitative study.
Handoff communication is a point of vulnerability when valuable patient information can be inaccurate or omitted. An institutional protocol was implemented in 2005 to improve the handoff from the operating room to the intensive care unit after pediatric cardiac surgery. A cross-sectional study of the present process was performed to understand how users adapt a communication intervention over time. Twenty-nine handoff events were observed. Individuals required for the handoff were present at 97% of the events. Content items averaged a 53% reporting rate. Some clinical information not specified in the protocol demonstrated a higher reporting rate, such as echocardiogram results (68%) and vascular access (79%). A mean of 2.3 environmental distractions per minute of communication were noted. Participant-directed adjustments in content reporting suggest that a facilitator in process improvement is user-centered innovation. Future handoff communication interventions should reduce nonessential distractions and incorporate a discussion of the anticipated patient course.
Chen, JG; Wright, MC; Smith, PB; Jaggers, J; Mistry, KP
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