What are the benefits and challenges of “bedside” nursing handovers? – Policy+ Issue 36 – November 2012

Posted on November 28, 2012. Filed under: Acute Care, Nursing |

What are the benefits and challenges of “bedside” nursing handovers?  – Policy+ Issue 36 – November 2012

full text 

King’s College London

“In acute hospital settings nursing handover (also known as ‘change of shift’ or ‘nursing report’) has become the traditional and dominant form of communication between nurses caring for patients on one shift to the next [1]. A substantial body of nursing research appraising nurse handover has evolved and the necessity of such handover seems undisputed for enabling nurses to exchange information [2]. The literature identifies four main types of nurse handover: bedside, verbal, taped and nonverbal. However, the impact of the various handover methods on nursing care and patient outcomes remains unclear [3].

In the UK and internationally, some hospitals are moving towards handovers at the patient’s bedside to support patient-centred care [4]. However, there are no national guidelines or standards in England and some have raised concerns about whether bedside handover complicates, rather than streamlines, nursing processes and puts patient’s confidentiality at risk. In this Policy+ we examine different approaches to implementation, evidence of the benefits, and challenges associated with bedside handover in acute hospital settings.”

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