Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Project – Full Written

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Abby Garlock


Ineffective handoff communication has been recognized for years as a practice issue and is the most frequently reported cause of sentinel events in U.S. hospitals (Dufault et al., 2010) and responsible, at least in part, for 30% of all malpractice claims (Fucik, 2019). The development of standardized tools has been identified as a key component to improving handover practice. For this project, a standardized SBAR tool was modified for a local emergency department. The intervention was a process change in the emergency department to utilize an SBAR tool during handoff reports. The project was implemented by educating staff on the new process and tool during routine staff meetings and then launching the use of the new tool after scheduled staff meetings were completed. The project aimed to increase staff perception of “good handoff communication” measured by a pre and post survey questionnaire. The survey questionnaire consisted of 10 questions and was created by using the “Eight Quality Components of Handoff” to measure pre versus post implementation handoff behavior (Angelow & Specht, 2019). The desired outcome was to increase staff perception of effective handoff communication by 25% after 2 months of implementing the use of a standardized tool for handover reports. The project resulted in an overall increase in the quality of handoff measures. Staff perception of the quality of handoff using a standardized tool improved from an average score of 3.36 presurvey to 4.25 post survey on a 5-point Likert scale.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License