Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287
Appointment Phone: 410-955-8465
Perioperative Handoff Toolkit
The Perioperative Handoff Toolkit is based on research conducted by Dr. Michelle Petrovic, Dr. Hanan Aboumatar, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, and the late Dr. Elizabeth Martinez, an anesthesiologist formerly of Hopkins.THE CHALLENGE
Mistakes are too often made when surgical teams transfer a post-op patient from surgery to the ICU or PACU. The problem arises when standard best practice is not in place and, therefore, vital communication is missed or misunderstood.THE SOLUTION
The Perioperative Handoff Toolkit provides a step-by-step approach to conducting a patient transfer from the time that the patient arrives at the PACU or ICU from the operating room. The Toolkit fulfills all of the Joint Commission handoff criteria and standardizes an easy-to-follow 5-step protocol that provides for limited interruptions through its organized structure.
Piloted for patient transfers from the OR to the CSICU at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2009, its use spread across our hospital, and it is currently being used to conduct all adult peri-operative handoffs from the OR to the intensive care units (ICUs) and recovery room areas (PACU). The core tool has improved information sharing during handoffs, increased satisfaction of the receiving team, and decreased distractions during a very vulnerable point in a patient’s care (in-press data). In addition, it has subjectively leveled the playing field between the various practitioners who participate because there is a preset expectation of opportunities for asking questions and clarifying issues at the completion of the verbal report.