1. Armstrong, Alexandra MSN, RN, CCRN
  2. Engstrand, Shannon MPH
  3. Kunz, Sarah MD, MPH
  4. Cole, Alexandra MPH
  5. Schenkel, Sara MPH
  6. Kucharski, Keri BSN, RN, CCRN
  7. Toole, Cheryl MS, RN, CCRN, NEA-BC
  8. DeGrazia, Michele PhD, RN, NNP-BC, FAAN


Background: Neonatal patients who no longer require level IV neonatal intensive care unit care are transferred to less acute levels of care. Standardized assessment tools have been shown to be beneficial in the transfer of patient care. However, no standardized tools were available to assist neonatal providers in the assessment and communication of the infants needs at transfer.


Purpose: The purpose was to develop a Transfer Assessment and Communication Tool (TACT) that guides provider decision making in the transfer of infants from a level IV neonatal intensive care unit to a less acute level of care within a regionalized healthcare system.


Methods: Phase 1 included developing the first draft of the TACT using retrospective data, known variables from published literature, and study team expertise. In phase 2, the final draft of the TACT was created through feedback from expert neonatal providers in the regionalized care system using e-Delphi methodology.


Results: The first draft of the TACT, developed in phase 1, included 36 characteristics. In phase 2, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician experts representing all levels of newborn care participated in 4 e-Delphi surveys to develop the final draft of the TACT, which included 74 weighted characteristics.


Implications for Practice and Research: Potential benefits of the TACT include improved communication across healthcare teams, reduced risk for readmission, and increased caregiver visitation. The next steps are to validate the TACT for use either retrospectively or in real time, including characteristic weights, before implementation of this tool in the clinical setting.