Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Inadequate or absent communication resulting in patient safety is an increasing problem in United States Air Force (USAF) aeromedical evacuation (AE). In 2010, 1,694 incident reports were filed. The lack of handoff communication was the second highest category affecting patient safety. Currently, there is no standardized patient handoff process in USAF AE. This evidence-based practice project is designed to answer the following question: In AF flight nurses transporting patients in the AE system, does the use of a standardized patient handoff checklist (using SBAR [situation-background-assessment-recommendation/request]), compared to current patient handoff practices, affect patient safety as measured by incident reports over the course of six months? An extensive literature review found poor communication was a leading cause of patient care errors and standardized patient handoffs were the most effective way of communicating. An SBAR checklist adapted for AE use was created and presented to Headquarters, Air Mobility Command for implementation approval.

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Nursing Commons