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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The use of standardized communication protocol for patient handover in emergency department setting Koval, Valentyna

Abstract

Patient handover has been recognized as a highly complex and dynamic process that relies heavily on effective communication. The lack of effective communication, particularly in an interprofessional Emergency Department (ER) setting, can compromise the quality of patient care. The goal of this project is to improve patient handover process by utilizing SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) technique to standardize interprofessional communication in the ER. It is hypothesized that the modified SBAR protocol will be well perceived by healthcare providers and will improve completeness and accuracy of the information transferred during ER patient handover between members of different professional groups. Three specific objectives guided the work of this project: 1) to modify the SBAR technique and adapt it for an interprofessional ER setting; 2) to study how the modified SBAR protocol is perceived by the students (Usability Study); 3) to design an experimental study to evaluate the effectiveness of the modified SBAR protocol (Effectiveness Study). Following the modification of the SBAR technique, 47 third-year medical students were invited to participate in the Usability Study. The students were randomly assigned into eight teams. One student from each team was randomly selected to verbalize the handover using the modified SBAR protocol, while the other students observed. The usability of the protocol was assessed using the following criteria: ease of learning; ease of use; perceived usefulness and satisfaction. Students found the protocol easy to learn (91%); simple to implement (85%); and useful during the handover (87%). Students were satisfied with the protocol, as it helps structure the verbal report; promotes common language amongst team members and decreases confusion during the communication (83%). Nonequivalent groups post-test only design was developed to assess the effectiveness of the modified SBAR protocol on completeness and accuracy of the patient information transferred during ER patient handover between members of different professional groups. We anticipate that use of the modified SBAR protocol will significantly improve ER interprofessional communication by ensuring complete and accurate information transfer during the patient handover. Further studies are needed to support this claim.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada