Background: Clear and effective communication supports interdisciplinary teamwork and prevents adverse patient events. At our academic teaching hospital, poor communication between surgical residents and nurses was identified as a recurring problem, particularly on the inpatient general surgery night float rotation.
Methods: A standardized nightly huddle with surgical residents and nurses was developed and implemented as a resident-led quality improvement initiative on two acute care units. The huddle was evaluated with pre/post surveys of nurses and residents, as well as analysis of paging volume and rapid response events.
Results: Nightly huddles significantly improved nurses' perception of interdisciplinary teamwork and communication (p < 0.00005). With nightly huddles, significantly more nurses were able to identify and name the on-duty night float resident at the end of a 4-week rotation (p < 0.00005). Nurses perceived a positive impact on patient care and work environment. There were no changes in the number of nighttime pages or rapid responses.
Conclusion: With night float rotations becoming a standard part of residency training, standardized huddles can enhance nighttime collaboration between residents and nurses.
Keywords: Handoffs; Interdisciplinary communication; Night float; Physician nurse collaboration; Quality improvement.
Published by Elsevier Inc.