Journal Article

Making the transition to nursing bedside shift reports.

Wakefield DS, Ragan R, Brandt J, et al. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety. 2012;38:243-53.

Efforts to improve communication are an ongoing challenge in patient safety, particularly among providers during handoffs. Current strategies being employed include adopting structured communication tools, implementing interdisciplinary rounds, and using patient whiteboards. This study implemented bedside nursing handoffs at shift change as a patient-centered approach to reducing communication gaps. Following implementation, there were significant improvements in nursing-sensitive patient satisfaction scores compared with other nonparticipating units, though the sustainability declined after the first 6 months. The authors describe the important planning that must precede such an intervention and the barriers associated with nursing resistance to bedside shift reports. Like many quality improvement efforts, ongoing monitoring and repeat interventions are required.