Interruptions During Senior Nurse Handover in the Intensive Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Study

This article by Spooner and colleagues was published in June 2018 issue of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.
Background:  Interruptions during handover may compromise continuity of care and patient safety.
Local Problem:  Interruptions occur frequently during handovers in the intensive care unit.
Methods:  A quality improvement study was undertaken to improve nursing team leader handover processes. The frequency, source, and reason interruptions occurred were recorded before and after a handover intervention.
Interventions:  The intervention involved relocating handover from the desk to bedside and using a printed version of an evidence-based electronic minimum data set. These strategies were supported by education, champions, reminders, and audit and feedback.
Results:  Forty handovers were audio taped before, and 49 were observed 3 months following the intervention. Sixty-four interruptions occurred before and 52 after the intervention, but this difference was not statistically significant. Team leaders were frequently interrupted by nurses discussing personal or work-specific matters before and after the intervention.
Conclusions:  Further work is required to reduce interruptions that do not benefit patient care.
The full text of this article is available via this link to the journal’s homepage if you have a personal subscription to the journal.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

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