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Evaluation of Huddles: A Multisite Study

Melton, Leslie MSN, RN; Lengerich, Alex MS, EdS; Collins, Melanie MSN, RN-BC; McKeehan, Rita; Dunn, Denise BSN, RN, CPHQ; Griggs, Phyllis MSN, ADN, RN; Davies, Theodore MHA; Johnson, Brenda MSN, RN; Bugajski, Andrew BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000171
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Regular, interdisciplinary group meetings, “huddles,” may be useful in improving communication among disciplines, resolving problems, and sharing information. Daily use of huddles may contribute to the development of a highly reliable health care organization. The purpose of this study was to describe safety huddles in relation to (1) problem type, (2) timeliness of resolution, (3) attendance of representatives from each discipline, (4) amount of information sharing, and (5) attendees' satisfaction with the process. Overall, results demonstrated that the primary function of huddles was the exchange of information that posed or had the potential to pose safety risks to patients. Across seven hospitals, the range of information sharing during huddles was 61.0% to 95.6%. Regarding satisfaction with the huddle process, staff reported that huddles were useful in improving awareness of safety concerns and also improved communication between disciplines. Huddles provide a structured format in which staff can positively impact safety concerns, form a greater sense of medical community, increase sharing of information between disciplines, quickly resolve discipline-based problems, and increase awareness of safety concerns. Given the results of this study, it is recommended that health care administrators and managers develop a huddle process.

Author Affiliations: Baptist Health Lexington (Ms Melton and Mr Lengerich); Baptist Health Louisville (Ms Collins); Clinical Quality & Patient Safety, Baptist Health Madisonville (Ms Dunn); Baptist Health Richmond (Mr Griggs); Baptist Health Paducah (Mr Davies); Baptist Health LaGrange (Ms Johnson); and Nursing and Allied Health Research Office, Baptist Health Lexington (Mr Bugajski), Kentucky.

Rita McKeehan has retired from Baptist Health.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Andrew Bugajski, BSN, RN, Nursing and Allied Health Research Office, Baptist Health Lexington, 1740 Nicholasville Rd, Lexington, KY 40503 (andrew.bugajski@bhsi.com).

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