Early Post-Operative Complications Of The Critically Ill

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Early post-operative complications of the critically ill following major surgery can have devastating results (McElroy et al., 2015). These complications are mitigated by immediate detection and beginning of appropriate treatment or intervention (Hudson, McDonald, Hudson, Tran, & Boodhwani, 2015). These all require effective communication between the surgical and post-surgical team (Nagpal, Vats, Wong, Sevdalis, & Moorthy, 2012). The purpose of a handoff from the operating room (OR) to the intensive care unit (ICU), is to undertake and intermesh the physical transfer of the surgical patient with the knowledge of patient’s clinical information occurring from the surgical team to the accepting post-surgical team (McElroy et al, 2015). …show more content…

Evidence have shown that the use of a consistent, standardized, and structured handoff checklist will reduce the complexity involved during the process, hence reduce sentinel events and improve outcomes (Boat & Speath 2013; Segall et al, 2012). The NPSG identified new actions with intent to protect patient safety which recommends that healthcare systems utilize a standardized approach to handoff communications which should allow for feedbacks, questions and responses. The issues of increased patient injury secondary to medical errors from ineffective handoff communication remains a pressing problem despite the recommendation and mandates of the NPSG and the Joint Commission (Joint Commission, 2008). These existing problems with ineffective communication during handoff have been identified, hence the need for improvement in the communication gap. The significance of the study is to introduce and initiate a standardized and structured handoff communication tool and checklist to be used in the post-operative period between the surgical and the post-surgical team. Its usage could improve verbal and non-verbal communication, decrease in medical errors, better quality of care, patient safety, and overall satisfaction of usage by the teams involved. CONCEPT DEFINITION The term “Handoff”

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