Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Mary Zerlan

Project Team Faculty Member

Michelle Ertel


checklist, handoff, report, communication, tool, CVICU


Patient handoffs occur when the information and responsibility of the patient is transferred from one health professional to another. Ineffective communication during the critical postoperative phase of the transfer of care (TOC) has been associated with extended hospital stays, increased healthcare costs and patient dissatisfaction. In 2007, the Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals proclaimed the importance of a standardized handoff process for effective handoffs. The purpose of this quality improvement doctoral project was to assess if the utilization of a standardized TOC checklist from the operating room to the cardiac intensive care unit (CVICU) for post-heart patients improved communication between providers. A review was performed on the current literature regarding the use of a standardized handoff. The results showed the use of a standardized form to be an effective tool for patient handoffs. Cardiac certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and CVICU RNs received education on the current literature and the utilization of the handoff tool. Collection of the pre-implementation surveys occurred after the education, and the post-implementation surveys were collected after the implementation period. The results showed improvement of missing information, a quieter environment, and the completeness of report.

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Standardized Patient Handoff.docx (28 kB)
Literature Review

Conceptual Framework(2).docx (109 kB)
Conceptual Framework

Methods.docx (122 kB)

Evaluation.docx (3884 kB)
Evaluation and Instruments

Executive Summary.docx (137 kB)
Executive Summary

References.docx (103 kB)
Reference List



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