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Bedside Reporting Procedures Enhances Communication

7/12 Bedside Reporting
UVMC nurses Theresa Rowley,
standing at left, and Jen Kiser, at right,
discuss how things are going with a patient
as part of the hospital’s bedside reporting

When nurses at Upper Valley Medical Center turn over responsibility for patients at shift change they're discussing what's taken place and what lies ahead with the patient at each bedside.

The change allows both the departing and arriving nurses to interact with the patient and the patient to hear details of their care directly from those care providers. It also gives the patient an opportunity to ask questions, if desired.

The bedside reporting procedure was explored as the nursing staff considered the best way to exchange patient information during UVMC’s conversion to electronic medical records.

Initiated this spring, the bedside reporting process is going well, said Jen Kiser, RN. She along with fellow staff nurse Theresa Rowley, RN, led a team of Registered Nurses and Patient Care Technicians in researching and educating the nursing staff on the concept.

“If it is done well, it is really successful. The patients I work with really enjoy it,” Kiser said. She added that one thing she has heard about repeatedly from patients in more than seven years of nursing is the changing of nurses providing care.

“Now we can not just say Susie Q is going to be your nurse, but here she is,” she said.

Rowley said the switch “was really exciting because it was very patient centered.”

Among past shift change procedures were nurses talking face to face in another room about the patients and tape recording the information near the end of the shift for the next nurse to listen to before assuming care of patients.

“The challenge was finding the time to get it done,” Kiser said. Now, the arriving nurse receives the patient assignments and both nurses head out for room-to- room interaction with patients.

The incoming staff is introduced and a report made on the previous shift’s head to toe patient assessment.  A safety check is done, ensuring all appropriate wristbands are in place, cords are off the floor, bed alarms activated and IVs are operating properly.  Information on any lab or imaging work done is discussed before the plan of care for the day is discussed with the patient’s input.

The bedside reporting initiative was staff, not administration, driven, said Judy Snyder, UVMC’s Chief Nursing Officer.

“The staff identified there was a better method for shift hand-off, which would place the patient at the center of the hand-off report. This follows the Upper Valley Medical Center and Premier Health Partners’ ‘Patient and Family First Priority,’” Snyder said.

“Working with their peers from other Premier Health Partner hospitals as well as hospitals from surrounding states, the staff heard the lessons learned and best implementation strategies,” she added.

The process is a good way to involve the patient as a partner in their care, said Kay Rickey, UVMC Director of Nursing Excellence.

She commended staff members for researching options and working with fellow nurses to explain and sell the concept. “They were able to show through their research the increase in communication and quality of care. Patient experience and safety are two priorities and both are impacted by this process,” Rickey said.

Rowley said the information exchange involving the patient is vital in today’s health care environment.

“They see that information going between us. I think they are better informed, as more people today want to know more about their health care,” she said.

Content Updated: November 19, 2014

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