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Conventionally, the change-of-shift report has always been conducted at the nurses' station that is far from the patients who know the shift change time, and since the nurses are away from them, patients may feel alone for some time. During this period, emergencies may arise, and that is where bedside nursing report comes in handy to eliminate the alone time and give patients a feeling of incorporation with the nurses as a member of the healthcare team. Research has proven that inadequate hospital care has been a major contribution to the deaths of patients due to preventable harm. Shift report has slowly undergone metamorphosis to shift from the nurses' station to the patient's bedside with the objective of giving patients the best understanding of their treatment plan according to their condition.
On a daily basis, thousands of patients are taken care of in hospitals, and that means several shift changes occur. Since nurses are the most immediate line of defense as far as patient safety and outcome are concerned, bedside nursing report or bedside shift report forms a fundamental part of the care plan. Bedside nursing report refers to the change-of-shift report that is between the off going nurse and the next incoming nurse, and it takes place at the patient's bedside thus making patients an integral part of the process in their health care delivery. The nurse is responsible for the communication that occurs throughout the change-of-shift report, and they can use that time to substantiate the health history of a patient, the physical assessment findings, and care plan as well as medications prescribed for the patient. Moreover, bedside shift report presents an opportunity to ensure that there is efficient communication between patients, their families, and the entire nursing staff. On a broader perspective, the significant logic behind this shift report is the creation of an environment whereby hospital staff, patients, and families work in unison to improve the quality, safety, and outcome of care to patients. More often, research has always shown that when patients are that third voice which engages in making decisions affecting their health, significant improvement in safety and quality is the result.
The critical elements of bedside nursing report which makes it efficient include: making an introduction of the staff, patient, and family to each other and encouraging the participation of the patient and family so that the patient can discern who is family and can take part in the report. The next element is opening the electronic patient's health record while at the bedside then doing a verbal report using easily-comprehensible words, followed by a focused assessment of the patient general condition and room safety. The nurse then analyses tasks to be done and identifies the needs and concerns of both the family and patient.
Bedside nursing report ideally helps improve patient safety and outcome and poses many benefits to the patient and hospital staff at large, compared to the absence of the same. The principal objective of bedside nurse shift report is to ensure the safe handoff of health care between nurses by actively involving the patient and their family. The patient is expected to define who their family is and who can take part in the bedside nursing report. First and foremost, care transitions increase the potential for medication errors while bedside shift report can significantly reduce the risk because a double-verifier system allows the incoming nurse to verify with the off-going nurse details. The details are potential drug adverse reactions to the patient, pump settings, compatibility of blood product besides carrying out assessments of any ulcers, healing ulcers or the general appearance of the patient. This strategy is an advantage to the patient's outcome because, during this period, the patient can ask questions, make inquiries, seek information and set goals with the nurse. To the staff, this type of shift report improves staff communication while ensuring nurse answerability. Consequently, patients become more aware and well-informed of their condition and care while nurses increase awareness of patient care issues, enabling them to strategize and prioritize their work accordingly. Other than improving patient satisfaction, safety and outcome, adherence to the standards of bedside nursing reports have been proven to cut costs to the healthcare facilities. The benefits include reduced legal charges which relate to medication errors and falls, less paid overtime and the universal bonus of improved patient experience monitoring scores.
Bedside nursing report is a recommendation to the clinical area because with the efficiency of the report that streamlines all relevant information and saves nursing time while also giving nurses a chance to work together at the bedside, enhancing accountability. The risk of miscommunication is eliminated, and the incoming nurse has a way to prioritize duties according to need. To the patients, they get to learn about the plan of care and the day's goal by being acknowledged as a partner and part of the team. Health facilities that take up this form of shift change will see a decrease in medication errors as well as less nurse overtime because the report is made more concise.
Anderson, J., Malone, L., Shanahan, K., & Manning, J. (2015). Nursing bedside clinical handover–an integrated review of issues and tools. Journal of clinical nursing, 24(5-6), 662-671.
Jeffs, L., Beswick, S., Acott, A., Simpson, E., Cardoso, R., Campbell, H., & Irwin, T. (2014). Patients' views on bedside nursing handover: creating a space to connect. Journal of nursing care quality, 29(2), 149-154.
Sand‐Jecklin, K., & Sherman, J. (2014). A quantitative assessment of patient and nurse outcomes of bedside nursing report implementation. Journal of clinical nursing, 23(19-20), 2854-2863
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