Improving postoperative handover from anaesthetists to non-anaesthetists in a children's intensive care unit: the receiver's perception.Singapore Med J. 2016 May; 57(5):242-53.SM
The efficiency of postoperative handover of paediatric patients to the children's intensive care unit (CICU) varies according to institutions, clinical setup and workflow. Reorganisation of handover flow based on findings from observational studies has been shown to improve the efficiency of information transfer. This study aimed to evaluate a new handover process based on recipients' perceptions, focusing on completeness and comprehensiveness of verbal communication, and the usability of a situation, background, assessment and recommendation (SBAR) form.
This was a prospective interventional study conducted in the CICU of KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore. It comprised four phases: (1) evaluation of the current handover process through an audit and opinion survey; (2) development of a new handover process based on the opinion survey and hospital personnel feedback; (3) implementation; and (4) evaluation of the new handover process. The new handover process was based on a PETS (pre-handover, equipment handover, timeout and sign out) protocol with a 'single traffic communication' flow and a new SBAR handover document. It included relevant patient information, and the options 'not applicable' and 'none', to increase compliance and reduce ambiguity.
Significantly more recipients indicated that the new SBAR form was the most important handover tool and provided more useful information. Recipients' perceptions indicated improvement in information sufficiency and clarity; reduction of omission errors; and fewer inconsistencies in patient descriptions in the new process.
Dual customisation of the handover process, PETS protocol and SBAR form is necessary to meet the workflow and information demands of the receiving team.