Improving Nursing Handoff Process in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
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In the writer’s organization, the analysis of the incident reports and sentinel events occurrence in the cardiovascular intensive care unit CSICU revealed that; handoff communication was the contributing factor for around 30% of the total incidents. Effective communication among nurses is imperative to ensure patient safety and deliver high quality of care; furthermore, the aim of the handoff process is to achieve effective, safe, and high quality communication when the responsibility for patient care is transferred from one nurse to another. This improvement project was implemented in CSICU; it was concerned with improving the handoff communication among nurses as a step to improve the quality of care provided, and impacts the patient safety through mitigating the omission of vital information that may result from ineffective handoff. Literature review showed that data obtained by joint commission international accreditation JCIA in their review of reported sentinel events indicated that the communication was the root cause of 65% to 70% of sentinel events occurrence. However, this project used the HSE change model (initiation, planning, implementation, mainstreaming). The improvement team formulated an SBAR based handoff form to standardize the handoff process during the end of shift report ,the project evaluation results showed a declining in the percentages of the handoff related incidents and improves the nurses satisfaction.