This essay discusses the need for safe hand-offs about patients is a much-discussed topic among nurses and other healthcare professionals and also the consumers and government agencies. The methodology of shift handover is different from institution to institution and unit to unit. …
The time spent in the hand-off lasted from 30 minutes to one hour. While some nurses reported lack of real-time information pertaining to the patient during hand-offs, others reported unnecessary lag time between coming to duty and seeing the patients. This lag time was a hindrance to the proper functioning of the nurses because of inability to answer call lights and delayed response to the complaints of the patients. Another major hurdle in the variability of hand-off system was increased number of errors (Trossman, 2009). According to the Joint Commission (2000), one of the leading causes of sentinel events in a hospital setting is the failure in proper communication during shift hand-off (Laws and Amato, 2010).
Traditional shift reporting is often repetitive, unstructured and inconsistent as far as information is concerned. According to Johnson and Web (1995; cited in Laws and Amato, 2010), traditional hand-offs "are frequently subjective in their content and accompanied by value judgments and labeling of patients." Mosher and Bontomasi (1996; Laws and Amato, 2010) opined that traditional shift hand-off also lacked in the planning of care. This is evident from the study by Jordan et al (1991; cited in Laws and Amato, 2010) in which "only 12% of change-of-shift reports included care planning and 2% included evaluation of nursing care." Traditional hand-off methods also deliver poor information (OConnell et al, 2008). From this, it is evident that traditional hand-off methods have several disadvantages and research has shown that these disadvantages can be tackled by implementing bedside reporting. Cline (cited in Trossman, 2009) reported that bedside reporting has many benefits like a review of the patient together, review of physician and medication orders, participation from the patients and their families and establishing of patient goals. ...
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