We Always Hear The Saying
We always hear the saying that nobody is perfect and that it is human nature to make mistakes. However, in the clinical setting, it is known that just one small human error can be the factor that results in the harm or death of a patient. It is important to attempt to minimize as many errors as possible in the clinical setting to make sure the patient is receiving safe, efficient, and quality care. This paper focuses on the benefits of the concept of the “huddle”, and why it should be considered as a requirement in all healthcare institutions. Not only does the huddle allow a nurse to gain a better understanding of their assignments, but the huddle also allows nurses on each unit to work as a team while providing efficient and quality care to patients.
When hearing the word “huddle”, people tend to think about sports games in which athletes come together to create a gameplay and setup that will be used for the next round. This can also be applied to any work setting that involves working with a team, such as in a hospital. According to the article, The Huddle: It’s Not Just for Football Anymore, huddles are highly recommended because they give staff the chance to create practice-level thinking, which will help nurses and other healthcare professionals learn how to think like a team (Dutka, 2016). Learning how to think and work as a team should be considered the first step in patient safety. Along with nurses, there are physicians, pharmacists, and many other healthcare professionals that contribute to providing patient safety and care – so communication between all healthcare professionals should be considered a necessity within a hospital setting. Along with this, huddles not only allow peers to communicate amongst each other, but these gatherings also allow health care professionals to lean on each other for help during times of distress. COME BACK TO THIS!!!!!
The concept of using the huddle is very useful regarding the means of providing quality, efficient, and safe care to all patients in a unit. Not only is this concept good for nurses along with other health care professionals to communicate, but this gather will give nurses the chance to get to know their assignments more before the start of their shift. During huddles, it can be expected for RNs to use this as a time to look over items on their assignment sheet in consecutive order as they relate to each assigned patient (Unknown Author, 2015). Being given the time to look over their assignments for each patient, nurses are given the opportunity to get to know the details of their patients’ health concerns, while also being able to observe their setting and get a feel as to what the pace for their unit is in that given time. This is beneficial for the nurse because it gives them the opportunity to prepare for their shift while allowing them the opportunity to gather any thoughts, notes, or questions that they may have. This can link to providing quality, efficient, and safe care for each of their patients because the nurse on duty won’t be blindsided by anything due to the fact that they will be given the chance to get to know the details of their patients’ health status prior to starting rounds. This will allow the nurse to know exactly which medications their patients are on, what accommodations the patient may need, and what the nurse should look out for in regards to assessment before they start their rounds. The more that the nurse knows about their patient prior to the start of their shift, the better chance they will have at protecting their patient from any harm. Not only will looking over the information help nurses protect their patients from any harm, but giving nurses the chance to look over the details of their patient’s statuses prior to their first round will give them the ability to work at a much more efficient pace – meaning that no patient will have to wait for them when help is needed.
Huddles can be customized depending on the institution. The great thing about this concept of huddles is that there is not only just one way to do it, but there are multiple ways that nurses can meet to talk about any concerns regarding patients and safety while being given the chance to look over their assignment in detail. Huddles can be planned, in which all of the nurses that are assigned to either the morning or night shift will meet prior to their first set of rounds, or they can be unplanned, which can happen if a patient suffers from a fall, or if a nurse is in distress and needs the help and support from their peers (Unknown Author, 2015). Planned huddles give the chance for open discussion regarding any questions that the nurse, or other health care professionals, have in regards to safety, patient planned care, or even questions regarding ones’ workload for the shift. Unplanned huddles are done very last minute, but this is a good way to keep good communication among all of the healthcare professionals in the unit because it keeps everyone up-to-date as to what is going on with each patient. Unplanned huddles can also be looked at as beneficial because this will give nurses and other healthcare professionals the chance to know what’s going on in within the unit by constantly communicating and keeping each other up-to-speed as to what is going on with each patient. Also, this form of huddles can be beneficial because it can give healthcare professionals the chance to build team working skills by leaning towards one another by giving each other advice or suggestions when a nurse is in distress and is overwhelmed.
During planned huddles, there are multiple ways to stimulate an open and constructive conversation. One way, as stated before, is giving nurses a sheet that lists all medications and treatment plans in a consecutive order for each patient, this being called a template sheet (Unknown Author, 2015). This sheet allows nurses and other healthcare professionals all the information that they need prior to starting their rounds. This can open a constructive conversation regarding any questions that any professional may have while also giving tips to promote safe and quality patient care. Another way hospitals can implement a constructive conversation among nurses and other healthcare professionals is to use the acronym SECURE during their huddles. SECURE stands for security issues, equipment or supply issues, census (regarding staffing and customer service issues), unplanned incidents, review harm and safety (such as falls, delays in care, and access infections), and emotional needs of patients and their families (Dutka, 2016). Using this acronym provides a better structure of a group conversation as it allows a specific agenda as to what should be gone over before every shift. This structure will allow both nurses and other healthcare professionals to be up-to-date as to what is going on in the unit, while also allowing them to learn more details regarding their patients and the patients’ family. Also, this gives the charge nurse the ability to get across any important information and key points that will make the nurses well informed and educated about the unit. Overall, both the templet sheet and SECURE are a good way to develop better communication among the nurses, and other healthcare staff, in the unit – thus showing the point, the communication within the team is the first step to providing quality, efficient, and safe patient care.
Not only does the concept of the huddle promote better communication and team building among the nurses and other healthcare professionals, but using this also helps better the care that patients receive. No patient enjoys being in the hospital, especially for long periods of time, which is why it’s important for nurses to provide quality and efficient care. Providing quality and efficient care ensures that the patient won’t be in the hospital for longer than they absolutely need to be, and this can be done by implementing the huddle concept. The article, Interprofessional Huddle: One Children’s Hospital’s Approach to Improving Patient Flow”, developed a research study regarding how efficient nurses and health care professionals were in getting patients from admission orders to bed assignment, and from getting patients from admission order to transfer to the pediatric ward pre-huddle and post-huddle (McBeth, Durbin-Johnson, Siegel, 2017). In regards to the time getting patients from admission orders to a bed assignment, the median pre-huddle time was 1.7 hours, while the median post-huddle time was 1.4 hours – showing a 0.3-hour decrease when using the huddle. In regards to getting patients from admission order to transfer to the pediatric ward, the median pre-huddle time was 3.0 hours, while the median post-huddle time was 2.6 hours – this showing a 0.5-hour decrease when using the huddle (McBeth, Durbin-Johnson, Siegel, 2017). This proves that using the huddle is extremely beneficial because it allows the patient to be moved and cared for in a timely matter. Through the use of communication and giving nurses the chance to carefully look over the details regarding their assignments helps them provide the quality and efficient care that all patients look for when they’re receiving. This decrease in the amount of time it takes for patients to get from their admission order to either their bed assignment or get transferred to a pediatric unit shows that they are moving around more quickly than they did when nurses did not use the concept of the huddle. The quicker that patients are getting moved, the quicker those patients will receive the treatment that they need and deserve, and the quicker that they will be able to be discharged. Not only this but by being safe and efficient, nurses will be able to provide care for a higher amount of patients throughout the day. With that being said, the huddle can be looked as a way to provide better care for patients through the use of efficiency and quality.
In conclusion, using the concept of huddles can be considered a beneficial factor in providing better quality, efficient, and safe care towards patients. Huddles allow nurses and other healthcare professionals to communicate and build team working skills by constantly being on the same page, while also working as a team to get assignments done. This sense of teamwork allows every healthcare professional working on a unit to respect and look towards one another for help in times of distress. By building communication and teamwork skills, nurses and other healthcare providers are given the opportunity to provide and care for patients within a timely matter. This allows patients to not have to spend as much time in the hospital than needed, which will then bring the patient a sense of satisfaction while also allow nurses to provide care for more patients throughout the day. All in all, communicating among the team is the first step in providing safe, efficient, and quality care towards patients, and because of the huddle, this communication can happen more frequently.