Patient Handoffs in Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care

Perry Nielsen Jr.

Authors:  Alan S. Brock, MD, Perry Nielsen Jr., Ana Carrazana, Kevin J. Sullivan, MD, Leah Breault, and Dalia Lopez-Colon, Ph.D

Faculty Mentor:  Kevin J. Sullivan, MD

College:  College of Medicine


Every day in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU), information is passed from a day team to a night team with the attempt to properly notify the oncoming physicians of any new information regarding their patients’ care. Several tools, mnemonics, checklists, etc. have been proposed to quicken these sign outs and guarantee adequate and useful information is passed between incoming and outgoing teams. For the Congenital Heart Center (CHC), the three most crucial things to communicate during sign out are: 1) nature of the patient’s cardiac lesion and performance, 2) coexisting organ system moralities, 3) anticipatory guidance for the evening. The purpose of this quality improvement project is to identify the biggest contributors of sign-out delays and create a standard protocol to be followed during sign-out in an effort to reduce the amount of error that can be attributed to miscommunication or lack of information passed from team to team. Ideally, decreasing sign-out delays will decrease the duration of sign-out while also improving its quality and thoroughness.

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4 Responses
  1. Michelle Hsia


    I really loved the topic of your research. I think it extremely important to always be monitoring how we can increase quality control, especially in the healthcare system. Great work!