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Communication at the bedside to enhance patient care: A survey of nurses' experience and perspective of handover

Authors

  • Maryann Street BSc PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Fellow, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia, Research Fellow, Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
      Maryann Street, Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia. Email: maryann.street@deakin.edu.au
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  • Paula Eustace RN PhD,

    1. Clinical Nurse Educator, Intensive Care, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
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  • Patricia M Livingston BA PhD,

    1. Associate Professor, Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
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  • Melinda J Craike BA PhD,

    1. Research Fellow, Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
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  • Bridie Kent RN BSc PhD,

    1. Professor, Chair of Nursing, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia, Chair of Nursing, Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
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  • Denise Patterson M Mid

    1. Chief of Clinical and Site Operations Box Hill Hospital/Program Director Women's and Children's Health, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
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Maryann Street, Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia. Email: maryann.street@deakin.edu.au

Abstract

Street M, Eustace P, Livingston PM, Craike MJ, Kent B, Patterson D. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 133–140

Communication at the bedside to enhance patient care: A survey of nurses' experience and perspective of handover

Strategies to support continuity of care and improve patient safety during clinical handover have been developed. The aims of this study were to identify the strengths and limitations in current practice of nursing clinical handover and implement a new bedside handover process. A total of 259 nurses completed a cross-sectional survey at change of shift on 1 day, which was followed by an audit of the pilot implementation of bedside handover. The survey results showed great variation in the duration, location and method of handover with significant differences in the experience of nurses employed part-time compared with full-time. Following implementation of standardized bedside handover on two wards, the audit revealed significant improvement in the involvement of patients, use of Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation, active patient checks and checking of documentation. These findings suggest the use of standardized protocols and communication tools for bedside handover improve continuity of patient care.

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