may compromise continuity of care and patient safety.
Local Problem: Interruptions
occur frequently during handovers in the intensive care unit
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
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.
Forty handovers were audiotaped 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.
Further work is required to reduce interruptions
that do not benefit patient care.