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Transforming patient care: The power of the bedside shift report

By Jennifer Valdovinos BSN, RN, Clinical Manager MedSurg, PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital 

As nurses, we constantly strive to enhance the quality of care we provide to our patients.  

At PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital, we faced a challenge with our HCAHPS scores, particularly in nurse communication. It was evident that traditional shift handoffs at the nurses’ station were not effectively addressing the needs of our patients. 

In response, our team embarked on a journey to revolutionize our approach to shift handoffs and elevate our patient experience. Recognizing the importance of building rapport and transparency we implemented a bedside shift report strategy. 

The bedside shift report approach

Our journey began with careful observation and data collection.  

We identified key process measures, such as performing handoffs at the bedside, introducing ourselves to patients, checking armbands, updating care boards, expressing gratitude, and discussing the plan of care openly in front of patients. These measures formed the foundation of our new approach. 

To ensure success, we engaged our staff in the process and provided them with the necessary tools and support. We recognized the importance of managing up, particularly in establishing trust between those leaving and those starting shifts.  

Implementing guidelines and expectations for communication helped standardize our approach and set clear objectives for our team. 

For example, as a shift would end, a nurse could introduce the next shift by saying, “Here’s Debbie; she’s going to take great care of you. She’s going to answer your call promptly.”

Dedication leads to outstanding results

The results of our efforts were remarkable. Within a few months, we witnessed a significant improvement in our nurse communication scores, surpassing our initial expectations.  

Leveraging NRC Health’s real-time data allowed us to track our progress and make timely adjustments to address challenges as they arose. 

When we measured “Would you recommend this hospital?” we received 100% in some months, which was phenomenal because we weren’t expecting that level of improvement; we were focused on the nurse communication, but we also received other benefits. 

Beyond the positive impact on HCAHPS scores, bedside shift reports brought about numerous other observable benefits, some of which were decreased call-light usage, improved patient assessments, and enhanced workflow efficiency.  

Moreover, our staff embraced the new approach, recognizing its value in delivering patient-centered care. 

A commitment to excellence

Looking ahead, we are excited to expand our successful bedside shift report initiative to other departments within the hospital.  

By sharing our experiences and best practices, we aim to inspire positive change and elevate the standard of care across all areas of our facility. 

Our journey toward implementing bedside shift reports exemplifies the transformative power of innovation and collaboration in healthcare.  

Through dedication, persistence, and a patient-centric mindset, we have redefined how we connect with and care for our patients, ensuring that every interaction leaves a lasting impression of compassion and excellence.