Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2018

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Christine Durbin

Project Team Faculty Member

Mary Zerlan


anesthesia, handoff, tool, PACU, communication, postoperative


Patient handoffs are defined as the transmission of information and accountability between teams and individuals. These handoffs can be periods of increased risk for the patient and increased errors among anesthesia providers and PACU nurses (Segall et al., 2012). The Joint Commission recommends healthcare providers improve patient handoff as a national goal (Robins & Dai, 2015). The purpose of this nursing doctoral project was to determine if using a standardized patient handoff tool could improve communication and satisfaction between anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and PACU nurses. A review of the current literature supported the need for a standardized patient handoff tool for anesthesia to PACU. The standardized patient handoff tool was developed for the adult surgical population in collaboration with the chief CRNA at St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. Anesthesia providers and PACU nurses were educated on the current literature and how to utilize the standardized handoff tool. Pre- and post-implementation surveys were collected after using the standardized handoff tool for one month. This project confirmed that the use of a standardized handoff tool increased clarity, efficiency, and overall satisfaction with patient handoff in the majority of anesthesia providers and PACU nurses in this study setting. All participants agreed that using the standardized handoff tool made the patient handoff consistent and complete.

Download Full Text Above

Included in

Nursing Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.