Barriers to information transfer for multi-trauma patients upon discharge from the Emergency Department in a tertiary level hospital

Calleja, Pauline, Aitken, Leanne M., & Cooke, Marie L. (2010) Barriers to information transfer for multi-trauma patients upon discharge from the Emergency Department in a tertiary level hospital. In Queensland State-wide Trauma Symposium 2010, 4-5th November 2010, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland. (Unpublished)


Purpose: Communication is integral to effective trauma care provision. This presentation will report on barriers to meaningful information transfer for multi-trauma patients upon discharge from the Emergency Department (ED) to the care areas of Intensive Care Unit, High Dependency Unit, and Perioperative Services. This is an ongoing study at one tertiary level hospital in Queensland.

Method: This is a multi-phase, mixed method study. In Phase 1 data were collected about information transfer. This Phase was initially informed by a comprehensive literature review, then via focus groups, chart audit, staff survey and review of national and international trauma forms.

Results: The barriers identified related to nursing handover, documented information, time inefficiency, patient complexity and stability and time of transfer. Specifically this included differences in staff expectations and variation in the nursing handover processes, no agreed minimum dataset of information handed over, missing, illegible or difficult to find information in documentation (both medical and nursing), low compliance with some forms used for documentation. Handover of these patients is complex with information coming from many sources, dealing with issues is more difficult for these patients when transferred out of hours.

Conclusions and further directions: This study investigated the current communication processes and standards of information transfer to identify barriers and issues. The barriers identified were the structure used for documentation, processes used (e.g. handover), patient acuity and time. This information is informing the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to ameliorate the issues identified.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 46830
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Information transfer, Barriers, multi-trauma, communication
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 the authors.
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2011 02:38
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2011 02:23

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