Standardizing postoperative PICU handovers improves handover metrics and patient outcomes.


OBJECTIVES To improve handover communication and patient outcomes for postoperative admissions to a multidisciplinary PICU. DESIGN Prospective cohort study. SETTING Multidisciplinary PICU in a university hospital. SUBJECTS The multidisciplinary team responsible for postoperative PICU admissions and patient care, including attending, fellow, house staff physicians, and nurses from pediatric critical care medicine, surgery, and anesthesia. INTERVENTIONS An online survey distributed to PICU, surgery, and anesthesia providers identified existing barriers and challenges to effective postoperative PICU handovers and guided the formation of a standard protocol. Handovers for postoperative PICU admissions were then directly observed for 3 months pre- and postimplementation of the protocol, with data collected on communication, metrics, and patient outcomes. Observations and data collection, as well as the online provider survey, were repeated approximately 1 year after handover protocol implementation. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS Survey data demonstrated increases in provider ratings of handover attendance, communication, and quality after implementation of the handover protocol (p < 0.001). Surgical report errors were eliminated (p = 0.03), and the prevalence of provider attendance for the handover duration increased from 39.3% to 68.2% (p = 0.01). Following protocol implementation, fewer patients experienced antibiotic delays (34.5% to 13.9%; p = 0.03) or required hemodynamic or respiratory interventions within the first 6 hours of PICU admission (24.6% to 9.1%; p = 0.04). Patients received their first dose of analgesia (62.3 to 17.4 min; p = 0.01) and had their admission laboratory studies sent (42.3 to 32.9 min; p = 0.04) more quickly. Data collected at 12 months postimplementation demonstrated sustained reductions in analgesia timing, antibiotic delays, and handover barriers. CONCLUSIONS Postoperative communication and patient outcomes can be improved and sustained over time with implementation of a standardized handover protocol.

DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000343


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@article{Breuer2015StandardizingPP, title={Standardizing postoperative PICU handovers improves handover metrics and patient outcomes.}, author={Ryan K Breuer and Brad M Taicher and David A Turner and Ira M Cheifetz and Kyle J. Rehder}, journal={Pediatric critical care medicine : a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies}, year={2015}, volume={16 3}, pages={256-63} }