6 strategies for improving anesthesia patient handoffs

It's becoming increasingly important for anesthesia providers to address issues related to patient handoffs, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

Midland (Texas) Memorial Hospital cut patient handoff errors in half and created sustainable behavior changes by developing a highly structured, six-stage patient handoff implementation strategy.

Here's what the hospital's six-stage implementation strategy entails:

1. Preparing. Gather baseline data on handoff quality indicators, establish a quality improvement plan and organize items for a new protocol and checklist.
2. Launching. Educate providers on the new protocol and checklist in one-hour training sessions, complemented by individualized coaching.
3. Adjusting. Survey providers for feedback on how to enhance and fine-tune the protocol.
4. Boosting. Help providers maintain and improve their effectiveness, with an emphasis on remaining engaged and at bedside throughout the handoff.
5. Formalizing. Make it a formal hospital policy and a requirement.
6. Refreshing. Train new perioperative staff and provide annual training to current staff.

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