The Particulars: Previous research has found that implementing a shift change protocol called PACT—which stands for Priority, Admissions, Changes, and Task Review—enables surgical residents to complete more tasks and learn more about patients on morning rounds. Use of a checklist may enhance the PACT protocol.
Data Breakdown: For a study, researchers used a focus group to design a four-item checklist that was to be used with the PACT protocol. The checklist asked physicians to designate a leader, pre-mark their handoff list, move to a quiet place, and set communication devices to vibrate. Handoffs using PACT with the checklist were compared with those using PACT alone. The following was observed:
|Parameter||PACT Alone||PACT With Checklist|
|Average handoff time||22 minutes||15 minutes|
|Average number of interruptions||4||2|
|Average errors per shift||0.03||0.00|
|Percentage of incomplete tasks per shift||27%||28%|
Take Home Pearl: Use of a checklist in addition to PACT protocols appears to improve communication and reduce handoff times, interruptions, and errors during surgical patient handoffs.