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Protocolized Handover Process Sustainable for Reducing Errors

Improved handover process is sustainable for children being transferred to ICU after cardiac sx

hospital stretcher

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A protocolized handover process correlates with a sustained reduction in the number of errors for children being transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) after cardiac surgery, according to a study published online March 21 in Pediatric Anesthesia.

Kristin Chenault, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues examined the sustainability of a protocolized handover process from the operating room after cardiac surgery to the ICU for pediatric patients. Patient transitions from the operating room to the cardiac ICU were observed directly and the total number of errors (technical, information omissions, and realized errors) was recorded and compared across different times of the study. Overall, 119 handovers were studied: 41 pre-intervention, 38 post-intervention, and 40 in the current sustainability phase.

The researchers found that, compared with the pre-intervention and post-intervention phase, the mean number of technical errors was reduced in the sustainability phase (2.0 versus 6.0 and 2.5, respectively; P < 0.0001). There was also a significant reduction in the median number of verbal information omissions in the sustainability versus the pre- and post-intervention phases (1.0 versus 4.0 and 2.0, respectively).

"We demonstrate sustainability of an improved handover process using a checklist in children being transferred to the intensive care unit after cardiac surgery," the authors write.

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