Bedside report involves a process where a nurse who has been working for 12 hours exchanges information with a nurse that is starting a twelve-hour shift. The information is about a particular current patient. The exchange of information is meant to ensure and maintain the safety of the patient by safely handing over the patients care to the next nurse by involving the family of the patient and the patients themselves. The medical industry is a demanding industry that needs concentration, care and concern for patients to ensure that lives and health of the patients are taken good care of. Therefore, there were calls for a project that would ensure that the safety of the patients is continuously guaranteed despite changes in nurses and shift. The bed-shift protocol, therefore, was a response to the calls for such a project that would act as an improvement project. Furthermore, there is the need to ensure quality and customer satisfaction and the general outcome of health care. The demand that the healthcare sector faces includes increased customer expectations, government regulations, and advanced technology. To ensure that the health care industry meets the requirements then bed-shift reports can be the game changer because it is in the best interest of the patient safety. Bedside reports are a means of communication between nurses who exchange information about a patient and therefore are significant when it comes to healthcare delivery and ensuring safety.
The bedside report is not only about the sharing of information but also a transfer of authority, accountability and responsibility for a patient from one nurse to the other (Evans et al. 2012). The process involves the handing over of information about a patient in front of the patient. One aspect of the bedside report is that by allowing the patient to witness the exchange then the patients can ask questions if they want to. By asking questions then, the patient can get clarification about their health and any progress being made. According to several researches carried out about the bedside report, there are several benefits that the process guarantees. Initially, reports were located at the nurse station; moving the reports from the nurse station to the bedside in the patient's room increased nurse to nurse accountability. Nurses have the mandate of taking care of patients. They are accountable if anything happens to the patient if they are on shift. With bedside report accountability is increased as the information is clear and the presence of the outgoing nurse, the incoming nurse, and the patient reduces chances of error. Bedside report also improves the quality of care given to the patients because the patient is cared for round the clock even if it is by two different nurses. Patient safety is guaranteed because the information is clear; therefore, room for error like the repetition of dosage or ignoring of dosage is eradicated ensuring the patient is safe. In the case of an attack, the incoming patient is aware of what to do because they have all information at hand. Furthermore bedside report gives nurse more confidence to communicate with physicians as they feel more prepared when it comes to information about the patient.
The implementation of the bedside report has been slow because of some significant concerns about the patient. According to Gregory et al. (2014), one of the issues is that there can be a violation of the patients confidentiality and privacy. However, such a concerned can be dealt with in several ways. One of the ways is for the nurse handing the report to discuss with the patient about the sensitive information that they would prefer to be left out of the report. Secondly, the nurse preparing the room would ensure that there is no one else in the room while she makes and gives the report. However, it is necessary to note that some patients would not mind having people in the room while the report is provided while others want and demand privacy.
As much as some nurses have concerns about the time taken to give the report claiming it may reduce efficiency, a study from an Australian hospital revealed that bedside shift report ensures efficiency in two different ways. Bedside report provides that patients get all the facts right and have time to ask questions in the presence of the incoming and outgoing nurse. Therefore, there is no need for the patient to ask for clarification later thus minimizing the number of times patients ask for clarification as the shift continues. Secondly, efficiency is experienced when two nurses collaborate to finish one task that would be challenging if they had to do it separately (Bradley & Mott, 2012). Furthermore, there is no need for further discussions between nurses and there is the eradication of the discussion of unnecessary information since every involved party is present. In conclusion, therefore, it is safe to say that the bedside report during shift change is in the best interest of the patient because it guarantees transparency, accountability, and efficiency through better communication between the incoming nurse, the outgoing nurse, the patient and the family members.
Bradley, S., & Mott, S. (October 22, 2012). Handover: Faster and safer? Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30, 1, 23-32.
Evans, D., Grunawalt, J., McClish, D., Wood, W., & Friese, C. R. (January 01, 2012). Bedside shift-to-shift nursing report: implementation and outcomes. Medsurg Nursing: Official Journal of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, 21, 5.)
Gregory, S., Tan, D., Tilrico, M., Edwardson, N., & Gamm, L. (January 01, 2014). Bedside shift reports: what does the evidence say?. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 44, 10, 541-5.
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