Implementation of an Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Handover Tool in Intensive Care Using the Knowledge-to-Action Framework

This article in the March 2018 issue of “Worldviews on Evidence Based Nursing” is by Spooner and colleagues.
Background:  Miscommunication during handover has been linked to adverse patient events and is an international patient safety priority. Despite the development of handover resources, standardized handover tools for nursing team leaders (TLs) in intensive care are limited.
Aims:  The study aim was to implement and evaluate an evidence-based electronic minimum data set for nursing TL shift-to-shift handover in the intensive care unit using the knowledge-to-action (KTA) framework.
Methods:  This study was conducted in a 21-bed medical-surgical intensive care unit in Queensland, Australia. Senior registered nurses involved in TL handover were recruited. Three phases of the KTA framework (select, tailor, and implement interventions; monitor knowledge use; and evaluate outcomes) guided the implementation and evaluation process. A post-implementation practice audit and survey were carried out to determine nursing TL use and perceptions of the electronic minimum data set 3 months after implementation. Results are presented using descriptive statistics (median, IQR, frequency, and percentage).
Results:  Overall (86%, n = 49), TLs’ use of the electronic minimum data set for handover and communication regarding patient plan increased. Key content items, however, were absent from handovers and additional documentation was required alongside the minimum data set to conduct handover. Of the TLs surveyed (n = 35), those receiving handover perceived the electronic minimum data set more positively than TLs giving handover (n = 35). Benefits to using the electronic minimum data set included the patient content (48%), suitability for short-stay patients (16%), decreased time updating (12%), and printing the tool (12%). Almost half of the participants, however, found the minimum data set contained irrelevant information, reported difficulties navigating and locating relevant information, and pertinent information was missing. Suggestions for improvement focused on modifications to the electronic handover interface.
Linking Evidence to Action:  Prior to developing and implementing electronic handover tools, adequate infrastructure is required to support knowledge translation and to ensure clinician and organizational needs are met.
The full text of this article as a PDF is available via link from this website

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