Improving transitions of care between the operating room and intensive care unit

Derek S. Wheeler*, Anna M. Sheets, Frederick C. Ryckman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Transitions of care between individual providers or teams of providers have a high potential for errors due to the incomplete transfer of critical information and the need for ongoing care. The transition from the operating room (OR) to the intensive care unit (ICU) is a particularly dangerous time for critically ill children. Hand-offs of care between the OR and ICU teams during this key transition period require detailed communication of complete and accurate patient information at a time when the patient is perhaps most vulnerable from a physiologic standpoint. Improving the safety of transitions from the OR to the ICU is an active area of investigation, though there are a few notable best practices that are commonly employed in a number of centers. These best practices include having the appropriate personnel at the bedside for the hand-off, the use of scripts and the “sterile cockpit rule”, the use of checklists, double verification of postoperative orders, and maintaining an overall safety culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Operating room (OR) to intensive care unit (ICU) hand-offs
  • Patient safety
  • Safety
  • Transitions of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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