Bedside handoff is an essential component when it comes to nursing care. What I have observed with even working in the clinical setting is that bedside handoff is not being strictly implemented or done by any nurses during shift change. Report is still being given at the nurses station which leads to incorrect information, sentinel events and also excluding the patient from their own care.
The Joint Commission reported that about 70% of sentinel events were due to lack of communication during handoff report (Riesenberg, Leitzsch & Cunningham, 2010). What this tells us is that there has to be a change implemented to improve patient care and outcomes. Educating healthcare professionals on the importance of bedside handoff I believe will make this transition smoother.
Bedside handoff allows the nurses to look at the patient and check for important things such as lines, IV drips and rates, skin issues, and also allows the patient to have a say in their own care. As healthcare professionals it is our job to provide safe and effective care while also providing quality service to our patients. Practicing bedside handoff will increase patient satisfaction and raise hospital survey scores.
Riesenberg, L. A., Leitzsch, J., & Cunningham, J. M. (2010). Nursing handoffs: a systematic review of the literature. The American Journal Of Nursing, 110(4), 24-34. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000370154.79857.09