Objective: Critically ill patients are at high risk for adverse events on transfer between intensive care unit and operating room. Patient safety concerns were raised within our institution during such transfers, and absence of a standardized patient handoff process was identified as an area of concern. Methods: The current state of the patient transfer processes between the intensive care units (ICUs) and the operating rooms (ORs) was mapped and failure modes were identified. A multidisciplinary team was convened and a standardized handoff process and tool (checklist) was developed. Adherence to the process and care team satisfaction was assessed at the end of a 60-day pilot period. Results: The process was successfully implemented hospital-wide covering all adult and pediatric ICUs. We observed a 90% compliance rate with ICU to the OR transfers and 95% compliance rate with transfers from OR to the ICU during the 60-day pilot period. The care team expressed overall satisfaction with the process and identified potential areas of improvement. Conclusion: A standardized patient handoff process between the ICU and the ORs can be successfully implemented in a large academic medical center. Universal application of this quality improvement tool can reduce patient harm, improve communication between providers, and enhance patient safety.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Leadership and Management
- Health(social science)
- Health Policy
- Care Planning