• Improving Postoperative Handoff in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit

      Talley, D.A.; Dunlap, E.; Silverman, D.; Katzer, S.; Huffines, M.; Dove, C.; Anders, M.; Galvagno, S.M.; Tisherman, S.A. (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 2019)
      BACKGROUND: Evidence-based research demonstrates that postoperative formalized handoff improves communication and satisfaction among hospital staff members, leading to improved patient outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To improve postoperative patient safety in the surgical intensive care unit of a tertiary academic medical center. METHODS: A verbal and written formal reporting method was designed, implemented, and evaluated. The intervention created an admission "time-out," allowing the handoff from surgical and anesthesia teams to the intensive care unit team and bedside nurses to occur in a more structured manner. Before and 1 year after implementation of the intervention, nurses completed surveys on the quality of postoperative handoff. RESULTS: After the intervention, the proportion of nurses who reported receiving handoff from the surgical team increased from 20% to 60% (P < .001). More nurses felt satisfied with the surgical handoff (46% before vs 74% after the intervention; P < .001), and more nurses frequently felt included in the handoff process (42% vs 74%; P < .001). Nurses perceived improved communication with surgical teams (93%), anesthesia teams (89%), and the intensive care unit team (94%), resulting in a perception of better patient care (88%). CONCLUSION: After implementation of a systematic multidisciplinary handoff process, surgical intensive care nurses reported improved frequency and completeness of the postoperative handoff process, resulting in a perception of better patient care.