Surgical patients are transferred to the hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after completion of a procedure, but there are often miscommunications that make this transfer risky. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota created a checklist tool that is meant to bridge the gap in communication between the surgical teams and the caretakers in the ICU. This list focuses on several important vitals such as pain, respiratory support, arrhythmias, and nursing concerns. In a recent research study, these charts were placed with the patients' information that was transferred to the ICU and the team that created this sytem monitored how well it improved the level of care. The results showed that there were 17 unplanned readmissions to surgery, and all were cases where the checklist was not properly used. The most important reason for non-compliance with the checklist was that it was too lengthy and detailed. The head researcher for this experiment was hopeful, however, as they are working to make the list shorter, with only the most essential details. The research showed that when the workers complied with the list and paid attention to potential health concerns for surgical patients, there was less chance that they would require readmission to surgery. When small routine changes such as these checklists help to increase the standard of care at hospitals, it is a step in the right direction to improve the lives of both patients and hospital staff.
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