NEWS | May 25, 2017

UC Davis study finds morning huddle improves patient flow

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

Patient flow improved after the implementation of a daily morning huddle, according to a UC Davis study published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

Photo of huddle

The study, led by Cheryl McBeth, interim nurse manager for the UC Davis pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), reviewed changes in patient flow before and after the implementation of a daily huddle, as measured by pediatric emergency department boarding times (time from admission orders to departure from the emergency department). The aim of the study was to assess if the addition of a daily morning huddle could improve interprofessional and interdepartmental communication and collaboration across UC Davis Children's Hospital departments.

“We noticed a positive change after children’s hospital executives and leadership implemented a daily morning huddle in February of 2014,” said McBeth. “This daily, ten-minute meeting led to increased patient safety, staff and patient satisfaction and positive health outcomes. It also has provided opportunities for learning and information sharing, establishing accountability, and developing trust and mutual respect.”

The huddle is attended every morning by the charge nurse and attending physician from the PICU, the pediatric unit, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the pediatric emergency department, as well as the hospital nursing supervisor and the attending pediatric anesthesiologist. Each team member presents potential admissions, discharges and transfers from their respective unit.

The study found that emergency department boarding times were significantly shorter after the implementation of huddle, compared to pre-huddle, from admission orders in the emergency department to patient transfers to the PICU or general pediatric unit.

Further research is needed to determine what format and contexts the huddle can be utilized to facilitate efficient patient flow and improve patient outcomes.   

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as the West Coast's only level I children's surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit children.ucdavis.edu.