Document Type

Course Project

Publication Date

Fall 2022


Introduction: Transition of care is the process in which sending provider teams and receiving provider teams release the care of the patient from one provider team to the next utilizing a communication process. Review of the literature has identified several different protocols in place to systematize communication among providers, however, there is no standardized instrument or process that encompasses the post-anesthesia transfer of care process. Our project goal is to develop a standardized evidence-based handoff communication instrument to be utilized during the transition of care process between anesthesia care teams to the post-anesthesia care (PACU) teams to improve quality of care.

Methods: Literature review was conducted to search for handoff instruments or protocols utilized during the post-operative communication period between anesthesia providers and post-anesthesia care nurses. Database searches included CINAHL, Medline, PubMed, Joanna Briggs Institute EBP database, HAPI, TRIP, ProQuest Dissertations, and Theses Global, and Cochrane Library. Seventeen studies met inclusion criteria. Directed content analysis was developed from the search, a potential handoff instrument was constructed and electronically sent to a panel of expert reviewers consisting of anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and PACU nurses. The expert reviewers were asked to rate each item of the handoff instrument using a 4-point rating scale. Two questions provided comment boxes for qualitative feedback. A standardized evidence-based handoff instrument to enhance the transfer of care process was reformulated based on expert provider feedback.

Sample and Setting: Survey was sent electronically via email to 22 anesthesia providers and 11 post-anesthesia care nurses from a 175- bed hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania. Eleven anesthesia providers and six post-anesthesia care nurses completed the survey. Results: Content validity index was performed for each item in the survey. Content validity (I-CVI) greater than 0.79 was desirable for each item. Thirteen out of the 15 proposed items of the handoff instrument had I-CVIs greater than 0.79, with an S-CVI score of 0.88 indicating high content validity.

Conclusion: Content validity scores for instrument items were deemed valid which aligned with the themes and categories collected from the literature. Overall, the polled providers agree that standardizing the transfer of care process will minimize communication errors and improve patient’s quality of care. Future cohorts can assist in the adoption of this handoff instrument as a standard of practice in this healthcare facility.



Included in

Nursing Commons