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Weigl, Matthias; Heinrich, Maria; Keil, Julia; Wermelt, Julius Z.; Bergmann, Florian; Hubertus, Jochen and Hoffmann, Florian (2020): Team performance during postsurgical patient handovers in paediatric care. In: European Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 179, No. 4: pp. 587-596

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Abstract

Postsurgical handover of paediatric patients from operating rooms to intensive care units is a critical moment. This process is susceptible to errors and inefficiencies particularly if poor teamwork in this multidisciplinary and ad hoc collaboration occurs. Through combining provider- and observer-rated team performance, we aimed to determine agreement levels on team performance and associations with mental demands, disruptions, and stress. An observational and multisource study of provider and concomitant expert-observer ratings was established. In an Academic Paediatric Hospital, we conducted standardized observations of postsurgical handovers to PICU. We applied established observational and self-reported teamwork tools. Nested fixed and mixed models were established to estimate agreement within teams, between providers' and observer's ratings, as well as for estimations between team performance and mental demands, disruptions, and stress outcomes. Thirty-one postsurgical patient handovers were included with overall 109 ratings of involved providers. Provider-perceived team performance was rated high. Within the receiving sub-team, situation awareness was perceived lower compared to the handoff sub-team [F(df = 1) = 4.41, p = .04]. Inter-provider agreement on handover team performance was low for the overall team yet higher within handover sub-teams. We observed that high level of distractions during the handover was associated with inferior team performance rated by observers (B = - 0.72, 95% CI = - 1.44, - 0.01). Conclusion: We observed substantial disagreements on how involved professionals as well as observers rated teamwork during patient transfers. Investigations into paediatric teamwork and particular team-based handovers should carefully consider if concurrent provider and observer assessments are a valid and reliable way to evaluate teamwork in paediatric care. Common handover language should be established and mandatory before jointly evaluating this process. Our findings advocate also that handovers should be performed under low levels of distractions.What is Known:center dot Efficient teamwork during transfers of critically ill children is fundamental to quality and safety of handover practice.center dot Postoperative handovers are often performed by ad hoc teams of caregivers with multiple backgrounds and are prone to suboptimal team performance, communication, and information transfer.What is New:center dot Our provider and expert evaluations of team performance during OR-PICU handovers showed poor agreement for team performance. Our findings challenge previous results drawing upon single source assessments and inform future studies to carefully consider what approach of team performance assessments is required.center dot We further demonstrate that high levels of disruptions are associated with poor team performance during patient handovers and that efforts to ensure undisrupted handover practices in clinical care are necessary.

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