The Handoffs and Transitions in Critical Care (HATRICC) is a study of the handoff process of critically ill patients in a mixed surgical population. It is designed with the intent to decrease errors and improve the transfer of information between the anesthesia, surgical and intensive care unit teams. The standardized handoff process occurs between the operating room and surgical intensive care unit of two ICUs with no prior standardized handoff process. The study is a hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial that uses mixed methods to survey needs while adapting existing handoff processes, and engineering the implementation of a new standardized handoff process. Effectiveness is currently being evaluated using data collected post-implementation.
I had the opportunity, over the past summer, to work on the HATRICC team exploring the clinical environment and applying quantitative and qualitative research methods to evaluate the handoff process. I had a spectacular time learning about the different perspectives of the many people who work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The projects helped me gain a greater understanding of the priorities of care and the administrative protocol that is everywhere in healthcare. I also received insights into the challenges currently facing the electronic health record systems. Overall, I had a wonderful time learning and meeting new people this summer.