The Admission Conference Call: A Novel Approach to Optimizing Pediatric Emergency Department to Admitting Floor Communication

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Optimizing information sharing at transfer of care between teams is an important target for the improvement of patient safety. Traditional emergency department (ED)-to-floor handoffs do not support a shared mental model between physicians, residents, and nurses. This report describes and evaluates acceptance of a novel process for coordinating physician and nursing handoff calls for patients being admitted to an inpatient floor from a children's hospital ED. Methods: The Admission Conference Call (ACC) is a single conference call including attendings, residents, and nurses from the ED and inpatient teams, currently used for 29.8% of admissions from one ED. Physicians and nurses were surveyed to assess perception of its effects on patient care. Results: A total of 653 ACCs were conducted during 2017. The survey was completed by 43 nurses and 89 physicians. Mean Likert scale findings were in favor of the process supporting safe patient care (4.5/5; standard deviation [SD], 0.6); none said it increased risk. Ratings favored the process improving interdisciplinary alignment (4.0/5; SD, 0.8) and the benefits outweighing the inconvenience (3.9/5; SD, 0.9). Respondents were neutral on the effect of the ACC on throughput time (3.0/5; SD, 1.0). Logistical concerns were expressed; mean satisfaction was 6.8/10 (SD, 2.1). Free text comments varied widely, from pride to frustration. Conclusion: The Admission Conference Call is a well-accepted alternative to a traditional multiple call process. Most participants believe it supports safe patient care. Further research is necessary to confirm measurable effects on patient outcomes, but this project provides encouragement to institutions considering innovative approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Statistical analysis was supported in part by grant number UL1TR000114 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Joint Commission


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