Don’t Fumble the Handoff: Tackling Effective Communication

South Shore Hospital (Weymouth, Massachusetts)

CSI Summary

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CSI Presentation

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CSI Toolkit

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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.

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The materials associated with this AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy project are the property of the participating hospital noted above, not AACN. Requests to use content contained in the CSI team’s summary, presentation or toolkit should be directed to the hospital. We suggest reaching out to the hospital’s Communications, Marketing or Nursing Education department for assistance.

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.