Implementation and Evaluation of an Evidence Based Handoff Tool for Use by Anesthesia During Transfer of Care of Post-CABG Patients to the Intensive Care Unit

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Poor communication is a contributing factor to medical errors and increased costs within healthcare. The handoff period between teams is a prime opportunity for communication failure. According to The Joint Commission, inadequate handoffs are estimated to contribute to 80% of all adverse events. To address the issue, they added a new National Patient Safety Goal in 2006 calling for standardization of the handoff process. The aim of this project was to improve the communication and interdepartmental transition of care between heart team CRNAs (HTCRNAs) and heart team ICU nurses (HTICU-RNs) using a standardized handoff tool at UP-Health System Marquette (UPHSM). This evidence-based quality improvement project incorporated a pre-test/post-test design to explore provider satisfaction and assess the functionality of an evidence-based standardized handoff tool developed collaboratively with an interprofessional team. Eleven providers completed the pre-intervention survey and eight completed the post-intervention survey. There was a statistically significant improvement in satisfaction with the transfer of care process following the implementation of the standardized handoff tool (Z = -2.23, p = 0.26). Participants also found the new handoff tool to be more comprehensive (Z = -2.33, p = 0.02); less likely to lead to mistakes (Z = -2.45, p = 0.014); and a better mechanism to communicate important patient information during transfer of care (Z = -2.04, p = 0.041). An opportunity was identified to improve and standardize the hand-off process between HTCRNA’s and HTICU-RN’s at UPHSM. Findings from this project demonstrate an improvement in the process as well as provider satisfaction during transfer of care between the ICU and anesthesia department using a standardized handoff too



handoff, transfer of care, operating room, intensive care