Medical handovers in the ICU: a snapshot of practice in the South West of France
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KeywordsObservational Study Emergency Medicine General Hospital Hospital Center Prospective Observational Study
Medical handover is critical for quality of care in the ICU. Time assigned to medical handovers can vary across different units, with significant impact on the organization of medical work. We aimed to study the time spend for medical handover in ICU and its variation across academic, general and private hospitals in the area of the South West of France, the Midi-Pyrénées region.
Between August and October 2010, we questioned by telephone 86 physicians issued from 19 different ICUs. This prospective observational study mainly focused on four items: unit characteristics, health diary organization, medical handover procedures, and self-assessment of satisfaction for medical handover (numeric scale from 0 to 10).
Time spent for the medical ICU is important, with an approximate total time of 1 hour 30 minutes on Monday, and 1 hour the other days. Physicians in private hospitals spend less time for medical handovers. This fact should be considered for medical timework organization, especially in academic hospitals and in hospitals with large ICUs.
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