Interprofessional huddle: One children’s hospital’s approach to improving patient flow

Cheryl L. McBeth, Blythe Durbin-Johnson, Elena O. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Admitting pediatric patients promptly to the appropriate unit where they can receive specialty care is of critical importance to safe, quality care. A daily morning huddle was implemented at one children’s hospital as a quality improvement project. The aim of this project was to improve patient flow throughout the children’s hospital by improving interprofessional and interdepartmental communication and collaboration. This article reports on changes in patient flow before and after implementation of the daily huddle, as measured by pediatric emergency department (ED) boarding times. This retrospective, descriptive study was conducted at a regional children’s hospital within an academic hospital. Data were collected from the electronic medical record over two separate time periods coinciding with pre/post-huddle implementation. Non-random, purposive sampling was used, resulting in a pre-huddle sample (n = 450) and post-huddle sample (n = 329). Times were significantly shorter after huddle implementation compared to pre-huddle (p < 0.001) from admission orders in the ED to transfer to the PICU or pediatric ward. The median time decreased from 3.0 to 2.6 hours post-huddle implementation. These findings suggest huddles as one potential factor in the formula to improve patient flow from the ED by enhancing interprofessional and interdepartmental collaboration and communication. Findings from this study are of vital importance to pediatric patients, nurses, and physicians. Promptly admitting patients from the ED to the appropriate unit where they can receive needed specialty care that potentially improves the quality and safety of patient care is paramount. Further research is needed to determine what format and contexts the huddle can be utilized to facilitate efficient patient flow and improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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