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Keywords:

  • clinical documentation;
  • continuity of patient care;
  • interdisciplinary communication;
  • job satisfaction

In 2000, an interdisciplinary surgical morning meeting (SMM) was introduced into the infants’ and toddlers’ ward of a major paediatric hospital to help overcome a number of communication and work process problems among the health professionals providing care to children/families. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the SMM on a range of work practices. Comparative design including pre- and postintervention data collection was used. Data were collected on 100 patient records. Twenty children, from each of the five diagnostic-related groups most commonly admitted to the ward, were included. Demographic, medical review, documentation, critical incidents and complaint variables were obtained from three sources: the hospital clinical information system, the children's medical records and the hospital reporting systems for complaints and critical incidents. Children in the postintervention group were significantly more likely to be reviewed regularly by medical staff, to be reviewed in the morning, to have plans for discharge documented regularly throughout their admission and to have admission summary sheets completed at the time of discharge. The findings of the quantitative evaluation add some weight to the arguments for the purposely structured introduction of interdisciplinary teams into acute-care environments.