Directly Comparing Handoff Protocols for Pediatric Hospitalists
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Handoff protocols are often developed by brainstorming and consensus, and few are directly compared. We hypothesized that a handoff protocol (Flex 11) developed using a rigorous methodology would be more favorable in terms of clinicians’ attitudes, behaviors, cognitions, or time-on-task when performing handoffs compared with a prevalent protocol (Situation Background Assessment Recommendation [SBAR]).
METHODS: Using a between-groups, randomized control trial design (Flex 11 versus SBAR) during a pilot study in a simulated environment, 20 clinicians (13 attending physicians and 7 residents) received 3 patient handoffs from a standardized physician, managed the patients, and handed off the patients to the same standardized physician. Participants completed surveys assessing their attitudes and cognitions, and behaviors and handoff duration were assessed through observations.
RESULTS: All data were analyzed using independent samples t tests. For attitudes, “ease of use” ratings were lower for SBAR participants than Flex 11 participants (P < .01), and “being helpful” ratings were lower for SBAR participants than Flex 11 participants (P = .02). For behaviors, results indicate no significant difference in the information acquired between the SBAR and Flex 11 protocols. However, SBAR participants gave significantly less information than Flex 11 participants (P < .01). For cognitions, SBAR and Flex 11 participants reported similar workload except for frustration. For handoff duration, there were no significant differences between the protocols (P = .36).
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that Flex 11 is an efficient, beneficial tool in a simulated environment with pediatric clinicians. Future studies should evaluate this protocol in the inpatient setting.
- Accepted August 9, 2016.
- Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics