Multidisciplinary handoffs improve perceptions of communication.

Lauren G. Solan, Connie Yau, Heidi Sucharew, Jennifer K. O'Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Communication errors during handoffs are a leading cause of sentinel events. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 2011 duty hour standards (DHS) increase the frequency of handoffs. The goal of this study was to determine if a multidisciplinary group handoff bundle improves communication while working within the 2011 DHS. During 1-month pilot programs of the 2011 DHS, 2 groups were observed. Group A adopted a multidisciplinary group handoff bundle, including presence of residents and charge nurses, a standardized mnemonic in verbal and written form, and resident training. Group B received only a mnemonic pocket card. Residents completed preintervention and postintervention Likert scale surveys to assess handoff perceptions. Within-group preintervention to postintervention changes were analyzed by using the signed rank test. Measuring communication errors, an institutional tool was used to track unanticipated patient occurrences (UPOs) postintervention for both groups. Significant improvements for the preintervention to postintervention surveys regarding the perceptions of quality of handoffs received, effective and efficient delivery of handoffs, comfort in giving handoffs, and handoff practices focusing on safety (all, P ≤ .05) were observed in group A. There were no significant changes in group B. Overall, 17% of collected group A UPO forms and 11% of group B UPO forms had at least 1 UPO recorded. The most common reason for a UPO was unaddressed nursing concerns. A multidisciplinary group of residents and charge nurses and a handoff bundle was associated with improved resident perceptions of handoffs and communication within the 2011 DHS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalHospital Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2014


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