Don’t Fumble the Handoff: Tackling Effective Communication

South Shore Hospital (Weymouth, Massachusetts)

CSI Summary

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Project Topic

Improved handoff communication (between the ED and ICU)

CSI Participants

Courtney Gould, RN, BSN
Nicole Howley, RN, BSN
Lisa Nolan, RN
Katherine Shaw, RN, BSN

Project Goals/Objectives

  1. To improve communication and teamwork between the ED and ICU
  2. To improve patient safety during the handoff process
  3. To promote uniform usage of the SBAR format during handoff

Project Outcomes

  1. Improved nurse satisfaction with handoffs being given with mutual courtesy and respect
  2. Increased patient safety as indicated by a decrease in incident reports directly related to handoff communication
  3. Achieved SBAR use among ICU nurses 76% percent of the time and ED nurses 100 percent of the time
  4. Developed mutual respect and appreciation of each others' work environments including unique role and workplace demands
  5. These outcomes resulted in average monthly savings of $87,000, with a projected annual fiscal impact of $1,050,000.

The AACN CSI Academy program supports change projects based on quality improvement methods. Although CSI teams seek to ensure linkage between their project and clinical/fiscal outcomes, data cannot be solely attributed to the project and are estimations of impact.

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