Document Type

DNP Project

Publication Date



Anesthesiology | Perioperative, Operating Room and Surgical Nursing


The transition from the operating room to the postoperative care unit is a critical time in the perioperative period for patients. Patients are physically transferred from one location to another and critical information regarding patients’ intraoperative period must be delivered accurately to ensure patient safety. Over the past few years, many healthcare regulating agencies have advocated for a standardized care transitions by suggesting a handoff checklist should be implemented but this has failed to be universally executed. There is not one template universally implemented in post anesthesia standardized handoffs but many different models. Nonetheless, research has shown using a standardized template for this care transition has shown that more information was delivered to the receiving parties and safety events related to miscommunication in postoperative transitions were decreased. The purpose of this project is to refine care transitions through a standardized handoff which will improve communication and decrease safety-related events. Nurses and anesthesiologists were anonymously surveyed about their perception of postanesthesia transitions prior to and after introduction of the intervention. A postanesthesia handoff checklist formatted in a Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation method was implemented at a level one trauma center in the Midwest based on feedback from the organization. The documented handoffs indicated there was a high compliance with using the checklist. The postsurveys presented low participation and neutral feelings regarding the use of a handoff checklist.


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