Doing nurse shift handovers at bedside improves outcomes and satisfaction, study finds

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Nurses can cut down on errors and improve patients' satisfaction by conducting shift change meetings at bedsides rather than at a nursing station, according to recently published research.

The findings are based in part on qualitative interviews with 45 patients. The participants generally reported feeling less anxious and more engaged in their care when nurses did bedside meetings at shift changes. However, some long-term patients did not want to participate in these meetings if their conditions did not change from day to day, noted lead researcher Lianne Jeffs, Ph.D., RN, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Nurses that have transitioned to bedside shift changes also have reported benefits. Prioritizing patient care is more efficient and accurate when both the incoming and outgoing nurse can visually assess the patient, rather than relying on reports,stated Terri Irwin, professional practice leader in nursing at St. Michael's. The hospital has piloted a bedside shift change program since 2011.

The findings appear in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.