The goal of this project was to decrease handoff delays from the emergency department (ED) as measured by ready to move (RTM)–to–occupied time.
ED boarding compromises the quality, safety, and experience of patient care. Lack of standardized and transparent handoff communication contributes to boarding time. This process improvement initiative implemented a standardized electronic situation, background, assessment, and recommendation (eSBAR) format-based nursing handoff process from the ED to a medical unit.
Nursing staff were educated face-to-face regarding the initiative background, significance, and process. Outcomes were measured before and after eSBAR implementation.
Before implementation, the house-wide average RTM-to-occupied time was 83.6 minutes. This decreased to 49 minutes (a 41.4% decrease) 3 weeks after implementation and improved further to 47 minutes at 10 months after implementation. No related patient safety or quality issues were identified.
The use of an electronic, standardized handoff communication process resulted in decreased boarding time and increased bed flow efficiency.