Background and objectives: Recent publications have shown improved outcomes associated with resident-to-resident handoff processes. However, the implementation of similar handoff processes for patients moving between units and teams with expansive responsibilities presents unique challenges. We sought to determine the impact of a multidisciplinary standardized handoff process on efficiency, safety culture, and satisfaction.
Methods: A prospective improvement initiative to standardize handoffs during patient transitions from the cardiovascular ICU to the acute care unit was implemented in a university-affiliated children's hospital.
Results: Time between verbal handoff and patient transfer decreased from baseline (397 ± 167 minutes) to the postintervention period (24 ± 21 minutes) (P < .01). Percentage positive scores for the handoff/transitions domain of a national culture of safety survey improved (39.8% vs 15.2% and 38.8% vs 19.6%; P = .005 and 0.03, respectively). Provider satisfaction improved related to the information conveyed (34% to 41%; P = .03), time to transfer (5% to 34%; P < .01), and overall experience (3% to 24%; P < .01). Family satisfaction improved for several questions, including: "satisfaction with the information conveyed" (42% to 70%; P = .02), "opportunities to ask questions" (46% to 74%; P < .01), and "Acute Care team's knowledgeabout my child's issues" (50% to 73%; P = .04). No differences in rates of readmission, rapid response team calls, or mortality were observed.
Conclusions: Implementation of a multidisciplinary I-PASS-supported handoff process for patients transferring from the cardiovascular ICU to the acute care unit resulted in improved transfer efficiency, safety culture scores, and satisfaction of providers and families.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.