Date of Award

Fall 9-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Dr. Nina Mclain

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Mary Jane Collins

Committee Member 2 Department



Communication is a key aspect of care in the health care setting. Handoff communication occurs between medical provider’s numerous times a day. Each patient handoff performed has the potential for ineffective communication, leading to poor patient outcomes. The Joint Commission has recognized handoff communication as one of the main causes of sentinel events, or unexpected events that results in patient harm or death, in the health care setting (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organizations [JCAHO], 2012). The Joint Commissions National Patient Safety Goal requires “a standardized approach” for provider handoffs. The introduction of a checklist or handoff tool has been shown to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality as a result of ineffective handoff (Potestio, Mottla, Kelley, & DeGroot, 2015).

This project focused on the utilization of a standardized handoff tool postoperatively in patients undergoing cardiac surgery being directly admitted to the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). A handoff tool was created from evidence-based practice and presented to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) at a medical facility in central Mississippi. CRNA’s were asked to assess the tool by filling out a survey on the effectiveness of the tool. They also evaluated the potential need for this policy in their facility and daily practice.

The goal of this project was to create a policy and handoff communication tool for this facility to utilize in their practice in those undergoing cardiac surgery being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in this particular facility. The proposed policy was presented to CRNA’s at this facility in central Mississippi and the tool was then evaluated by the CRNA’s and CVICU registered nurses(RN). This survey consisted of three yes or no questions and two open-ended questions.

Included in

Other Nursing Commons