Bedside Shift Reporting

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Bedside Shift Reporting
Jennifer J. Fay
Indiana State University

Bedside Shift Reporting
In every profession there are changes that propel how tasks are done; nursing is no stranger to this. One of the biggest changes that have come into nursing’s daily events is how report hand-offs are being done. Gone are the days of taped report that each off going nurse must tape about each patient and the oncoming nurse must listen to. Nurses are now being encouraged to move their report to the bedside, in front of the patient (Trossman, 2007). It is very important to know how this can affect the patient and even the nurse’s schedule. With every change, there are positives and negatives that can finalize the decision to keep or forego the change.

Although change is hard when confronted with a new way doing something we are accustomed to it is important to know how it will change the flow of the floor. It is also important to have a plan. In changing end of shift report styles, there has to consistency throughout all nursing staff. As in Lefton’s (2007) article on change, she states that nurses and nurse managers need to have a plan but also be flexible in implementing it. She also states that with a large change is it important “to be proactive, highly involved, and have an open door policy” (Lefton, 14) with any problems that may arise. On every floor, there may be resistance to any change and difficulties in adapting to it. Just like in life, nurses must be patient and know that it in the long run it may be better for the patient and continue to be a best practice for care. Patients who make frequent visits to the hospital may also notice the change with bedside reporting. Nurses may help put the patient at ease by showing cohesiveness between the off going and the on coming nursing staff. Patients are also able to take part in their own care by asking questions and knowing what their plan of care is during their time in the hospital. After all, being in the hospital can be frightening and even worse when you feel clueless about what is going to be done.

Every year the Joint Commission introduces or alters their long running list of National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) for the upcoming year (Revere). These goals are in place to help keep the patient safe and improve care throughout healthcare. The goals have helped propel healthcare to be more cognizant of how dangerous the hospital setting can truly be. In 2008, goal two was “improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers” (Revere). As everyone knows, communication in everything is important, but it seems as if it is even of greater importance in the hospital setting. One wrong lab value or test result reported can be detrimental to a patient’s outcome. Secondly, bedside shift reporting applies to goal 13 of the National Patient Safety Goals. Goal 13 encourages the patient and their family to be actively involved in their care as a safety measure (Revere). It is important for each patient to be fully aware of each test and procedure they will have done during their hospital stay, bedside reporting encourages this greatly by discussing it all in front of the patient. Comak (2009) states that goal two and 13 are now considered standards rather than goals. Comak also states that when a goal is transferred to a standard there is less emphasis placed on the requirement during a survey because it is then thought of as an automatic practice. Although the NPSG’s change from year to year depending on completion or alteration of the goal, the goals should be incorporated into nursing’s everyday activities.

Nurses my have a many reservations when altering a vital activity in their day. In changing traditional reporting to the bedside, nurses will be able to see their patients sooner rather than doing report in another room on all of their patients and then going to see them. When bedside reporting was implemented at a hospital in Chandler, AZ,...
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