Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Inter-unit coordination is essential in preventing a bottleneck in patient flow and its resultant stresses to staff, hindering quality patient care, and wasting time. The Medical-Surgical Unit (MSU) and Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) struggle to establish efficient patient report times and transfers. Preliminary data demonstrated report delays attributed to an arduous workload and overburdened MSU nursing staff. The project’s objective focuses on reducing nurse-related report time delays by 10%, increasing understanding and teamwork, promoting proactive thinking to manage workflow efficiently, improving patient flow, and improving the inter-unit relationship between MSU and PACU. Increasing awareness and reducing transfer times are important for maintaining patient flow. Project interventions included the following: (1) MSU staff education about preliminary delays in transfer; (2) initiate an 8 am and 1-2 pm call times between the two units by the charge nurse; (3) continue the courtesy calls in PACU; and (4) encourage nurses to continue supporting team members. The measures include the average report times and the staff’s ability to recognize the relationship of overburdened staff members and delays. Average report times of 54.5 minutes without a courtesy call reduced to 16.33 minutes with the courtesy call intervention. Utilizing the System Thinking Scale demonstrated an increase in the system thinking approach among the MSU and PACU staff. Overtime costs supersede the cost of hiring one more staff nurse to improve patient flow, lessen all staff workload, and decrease turnover rates. The findings demonstrate a need for increased staffing, further research of inter-unit report delays, and initiatives to continue teamwork efforts.