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Why You Should Involve Patients in Nursing Handoffs

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, December 3, 2013

HealthLeaders: For working nurses, what are the most important takeaways from your study?

Jeffs: 1. Patients described the bedside nursing handover as engaging, personal, and informative. The bedside nursing handover created a space to connect with their nurses in a more personal manner (e.g., provided an introduction between patient and nurse at the beginning of the shift).

2. Patients found the experience increased their engagement in their own care and kept them informed about their health status and care plan. It also gave the patient an opportunity to identify important needs to the nurse (e.g., daily activities).

3. Not all patients wanted to participate in the bedside nursing handover, particularly … some of the long-term-stay patients.

HealthLeaders: How can nurse managers use/implement this data with their staff?

Jeffs: Nurse managers can use [the] study findings to demonstrate the benefits experienced by the patients receiving bedside handover and to ensure that patients' preferences around what aspects of their care should be discussed [during] the bedside handover. 

HealthLeaders: How difficult would it be to implement this kind of change (i.e., making a workflow change)? Any tips for doing so?

Jeffs: [Leaders should consider] concerns around protecting patient privacy. [Also,] this type of reporting may take more time [and] need to be addressed as part of the change-management strategy.


Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "Why You Should Involve Patients in Nursing Handoffs"


Mary K Parker (12/3/2013 at 4:36 PM)
I love bedside shift report! Many of our patients enjoy being the center of attention and providing input to the oncoming staff. As a supervisor, I discovered that was one of the best ways to nip derisive or derogatory remarks about patients to oncomin shift members. It completely changes the dialogue when we communicate in front of the patient. We have also found that it's one way to minimize the "us versus them" when things are discovered undone later in the shift. When these things are addressed at shift report (missing medications, room cleanliness, etc), it creates a more cohesive team, regardless of which side of the team you're on.