Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bedside Shift Changes for Nurses Can Reduce Errors, Improve Patient Satisfaction

Performing nurses’ shift changes at the patient’s bedside can reduce potential medical errors and increase patient satisfaction, according a new study highlighted on ScienceDaily.com.  The study findings were published in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.

Traditionally, nurses exchange patient information between shifts through recordings or verbal briefings. With the bedside handover method, nurses exchange pertinent patient information such as clinical conditions, allergies, and care plans with the patient in his or her room. With this system, nurses and patients see each other sooner and patients are able to ask questions and clarify information with both the nurse leaving for the day, and their new nurse. This process can relieve anxiety and improve patient satisfaction, according to the article.

Study participants described bedside handover as engaging, personal, and informative. However, researches noted the importance of recognizing and being sensitive to patients’ preferences, which often differ. Bedside handover can be beneficial for nurses as well, since they can assess all patients’ conditions and prioritize care within the first 15 minutes of a shift.

An INQRI-funded study led by Linda Flynn and Dong-Churl Suh examined the “Impact of Nursing Structures and Processes on Medication Errors.”  The multidisciplinary research team identified changes in nursing care processes needed to prevent medication errors as well as adjustments in nurse staffing and the practice environment that can facilitate interception of such errors.

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