OBJECTIVE: To develop an interfacility transfer handoff intervention by applying the person-based approach method.
METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study that used nominal group technique (NGT) and focus groups to apply the person-based approach for intervention development. NGT methods were used to determine prioritized pediatric transfer handoff elements to design the initial intervention prototype. Five focus group sessions were then held to solicit feedback on the intervention, perceptions on implementing the intervention, and outcomes for evaluating the intervention. Data were analyzed by using content analysis. Iterative improvements were made to the intervention prototype as data emerged.
RESULTS: Forty-two clinical providers in total participated in NGT and focus group sessions, including physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, and a respiratory therapist. The initial intervention prototype was a handoff mnemonic tool, “SHARING” (short introduction, how the patient appeared, action taken, responses and results, interpretation, next steps, gather documents). Perceived benefits of the intervention included clarifying handoff expectations, reducing handoff deficits, supporting less experienced clinical providers, and setting the stage for ongoing effective communication. Outcomes perceived to be meaningful were related to triage appropriateness, workflow and use, and communication and information sharing. The final version of the intervention consisted of a SHARING reference card and a SHARING electronic medical record note template.
CONCLUSIONS: Using qualitative methods to apply the person-based approach to intervention development, we developed a transfer handoff intervention. Future research is needed to examine impacts of this tool; outcomes can include those identified as meaningful by participants in our present study.