Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


Zvart Onanian School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



The purpose of this paper is to complete a mixed-studies review, in order to answer the question, “How does the use of a checklist by anesthesia providers for post-anesthesia transfer of care (TOC) impact the objective quality of the handoff?” Checklists are tools used to improve the quality and reliability of high-risk processes both within and outside of the healthcare setting. A specific interest in intraoperative checklist use was the impetus for the clinical question. Due to a lack of available research, post-operative checklist use was reviewed. A link to intraoperative checklist use is made from the findings. Lewin’s Planned Change Theory was used for examining how implementation of a checklist may be successfully completed in the anesthesia arena. The PRISMA checklist was utilized. Current literature was systematically searched to select a sample of studies pertinent to the clinical question. Data from these studies was extracted, analyzed, evaluated, and reported in a manner consistent with the PRISMA guidelines. The following terms were used to complete the search: “post-anesthesia,” “transfer of care,” “handoff,” “checklist,” “standardized checklist,” “anesthesia,” and “patient safety.” Three randomized controlled studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and a fourth study pertinent to the clinical question was included in the review to increase the sample size. Findings were that the use of a checklist by anesthesia providers for post-anesthesia TOC was effective in increasing the percentage of overall items included in the handoff, while the effect of checklist use on handoff duration was inconclusive.