Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Janine Spencer, Chair

Second Advisor

Daniel Jacobs

Third Advisor

Diane M. Nelson


Handoff, Communication, Safety, Checklist, Operating room


Poor and inadequate handoff, or transfer of care of the surgical patient care from the primary to the relief operating room registered nurse circulators, can result in irreversible patient harm, or sentinel events, such as retained foreign items. In this study, Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory was the framework for implementing the handoff safety checklist. Also, Donabedian's structure process and outcome was the model to investigate the feasibility, acceptability, and improvement in the quality of patient handoff communication and improvement of nurse satisfaction over time. Nineteen-statement surveys, conducted at multiple timeframes, were completed by volunteer operating room nurse participants. In comparison, outcomes of the pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys illustrated significance in the quality of nurse communication and satisfaction of the handoff safety checklist. The value of standardized handoff safety checklists is evident in the study. However, further research of handoff safety checklists in the intraoperative arena is warranted.


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