Abstract: There is no consensus on how effective patient handover in the pediatric intensive care unit should occur. Complex patients with rapidly moving clinical trajectories are difficult to summarize and comprehend. We aimed to redesign our current handover instrument to encourage higher-level cognitive interactions, questioning and understanding for pediatric residents. Through an iterative process with five pediatric intensive care unit intensivists, the current hardcopy handover tool was reviewed and compared to other formats published in medical and non-medical domains. Several handover formats on the iPad were created and proposed, but continual feedback from intensive care unit physicians led to a selection, and further revisions were made. A mock handover with completed data fields allowed pediatric residents to provide the final feedback in both a semi-structured group review and a survey with responses on a 1–5 Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree or disagree; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree). A novel two-axis data grid combining the ‘systems’ and ‘problem list’ approach was developed, with read back prompts, and off the shelf applications such as “burn notices”. Residents found ease with the organizational format (4.0 ± 0.67 Likert scale response) and the transition to the iPad device (4.3 ± 0.67). Improving physician handovers may be achieved efficiently and economically through physician led iterative processes. Pediatric residents were at ease when the novel handover was combined with newer iPad technologies and applications.
Keywords: Intensive care units, pediatric, patient handoff, computers, handheld