Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mary T. Verklan


AbstractEffective communication among health care providers is critical to maintain patient safety during the handoff of care. Communication breakdown during handoff can lead to medical errors and sentinel events. The perioperative area is a vulnerable area that is prone to communication errors due to the involvement of providers from various disciplines and the nature of the quick patient turnovers within the perioperative area. To ensure proper communication during the handoff in the perioperative area, a unit-specific handoff tool is required. The focus of the project was to implement a standardized situation, background, assessment, and recommendation (SBAR) communication tool in the perioperative area to be utilized by preoperative area, operating room (OR), and Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) professionals during the handoff, and to evaluate the impact by assessing perceived communication and satisfaction between the OR and the PACU staff. The framework used to support the project was the Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice. The participants were trained on a new standardized SBAR handoff and pre- and post- implementation tests were conducted to evaluate the outcome. Descriptive statistics to analyze the comparison surveys found increased satisfaction and improved communication in the perioperative area. The new standardized SBAR can impact positive social change by shifting the culture to a standardized method of handoff communication by empowering the providers to be effective communicators of patient information.

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