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Handoffs in the Postoperative Anesthesia Care Unit: Use of a Checklist for Transfer of Care.

Authors
  • Robins, Holly-May
  • Dai, Feng
Type
Published Article
Journal
AANA journal
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2015
Volume
83
Issue
4
Pages
264–268
Identifiers
PMID: 26390744
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Information loss can occur during all phases of care. The transfer of care (handoff) from the operating room to the postoperative anesthesia care unit (PACU) is an especially susceptible time. Information loss can lead to an increase in medication errors, sentinel events, and poor patient outcomes. High-reliability organizations, such as the aviation industry, use checklists to decrease errors and improve safety. As the healthcare industry becomes more complex, it is in the interest of patient safety to develop, validate, and use similar objective procedures as those used in high-reliability organizations. The purpose of this research was to determine if the utilization of a formulated checklist with objective measures during the handoff from the operating room to the PACU decreased information loss, the need for information clarification, and anesthesia providers' time spent in transfer of care, with improved adequacy of the handoff. Specific metrics were monitored before and after implementation to assess for information loss, information clarification, anesthesia providers' time, and to rate the adequacy of the report.

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