Handoff standardization in the neonatal intensive care unit with an EMR-based handoff tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This quality improvement project aimed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of handoff communication among NICU medical providers with an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)-based handoff tool (HT). Study design: Three Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles were utilized following the implementation of a NICU-specific EMR-based HT and a standardized handoff process. Primary measures included accuracy of demographic components: patient name, bed, age, gestational age, postmenstrual age; and medical components: active diagnoses, weight, vascular access, respiratory support, diet, total fluid goal, medications. Secondary measures included environmental components (start time, duration, location, and distractions) as indicators of efficiency. Results: Accuracy of handoff components improved from 68% to 99% (p < 0.001). Efficiency of the handoff improved with time needed to complete patient handoff decreasing from 78 to 47 s per patient (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Standardizing the NICU handoff process using an EMR-based HT allowed for increased accuracy of handoff components and improved efficiency, which may promote enhanced patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-640
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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