Implementation and Evaluation of an Evidence Based Handoff Tool for Use in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at UPHS Marquette

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Providing a thorough handoff to another health care provider during transfer of care is an important task that all must share responsibility for. Handoff provides the opportunity to communicate important information, outcomes, and future interventions for a patient. During this critical time there is the potential for information to be missed and forgotten when providers are busy, stressed, or apathetic. Without the use of a tool to aid in this process, there is a higher chance that missed information will occur. Incorporating a handoff tool into practice has the potential to reduce these risks and also provide a more comprehensive handoff. The purpose of this DNP Project was to answer the following questions: (1) Does the incorporation of a handoff tool improve handoff quality? and (2) Does a handoff tool improve healthcare worker satisfaction? Currently at Upper Peninsula Health System Marquette, there is no formal standardized handoff tool in use during transfer of care between providers in the anesthesia department and post anesthesia recovery unit. This paper describes a quality improvement project that employed a pretest/posttest design to answer the project questions. A pre-intervention and post-intervention survey was launched to gauge CRNA satisfaction with the handoff process, willingness to adopt a standardized handoff tool and preferences for characteristics to include in a handoff tool. Findings from this project revealed that satisfaction with the handoff process increased following implementation of the handoff tool (pre-intervention 9.1% agree/ strongly agree; post-intervention 87.6% agree/strongly agree). In addition, CRNAs reported that the new handoff process was less likely to lead to mistakes (pre-intervention 90.9 % agreed/strongly agreed; post-intervention 6.3%).



Handoff, Transfer of care, Standardized handoff tool, Patient safety, Checklists