Introduction: A new-born with congenital heart disease requires care that involves numerous specialists. Such care can be provided at tertiary referral hospitals and transportation is often needed. A crucial factor is the handover process, when the child is born at a distance, with transfer of both professional responsibility and continued care from one healthcare professional to another.
Aim: The aim of this study was to identify crucial factors for the receiving healthcare professionals that influence the handover process of the new-born with congenital heart disease.
Method: A cross-sectional questionnaire study with 53 receiving healthcare professionals at a paediatric intensive care unit at a tertiary referral university hospital in Sweden. The response rate was 48/53. Numerical variables were computed and a content analysis was performed.
Findings: The handover process of the new-born with heart disease transferred to a tertiary referral hospital is complicated. A clear majority of the respondents identified one or more flaws in this process. Crucial factors identified were: relevant and structured information, clear communication, adequate patient knowledge and an enabling environment.
Conclusion: A standardised procedure in the different phases of the handover process could improve communication, the working situation for healthcare professionals and thereby increase patient safety.
Keywords: Communication; Congenital heart disease; Handover; New-born; Paediatric intensive care unit; Patient safety.
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