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Quantitative evaluation of regular morning meetings aimed at improving work practices associated with effective interdisciplinary communication

Authors

  • Judy Aston RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Nurse Specialist, Infant/Toddler, High Dependency Medical/Surgical Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, Research Nurse, Nursing Practice Development Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and Clinical Fellow, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Edward Shi MBBS MS FRACS,

    1. Head, Department of General Surgery, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, and Senior Clinical Fellow, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Helen Bullôt RN RM MN,

    1. Nurse Unit Manager, Infant/Toddler, High Dependency Medical/Surgical Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and Senior Clinical Fellow, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Robyn Galway RN GradCertPaed,

    1. Clinical Nurse Educator, Infant/Toddler, High Dependency Medical/Surgical Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and Clinical Fellow, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Jackie Crisp RN PhD FCN

    1. David Coe Clinical Chair of Child and Adolescent Nursing, Nursing Practice Development Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, Professor of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and Research Fellow, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
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Judy Aston, Nursing Practice Development Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, High Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia. Email: judith.aston@sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

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.

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