Share The Health

Bedside Shift Report: Providing Interactive Care


Moving the conversation between nurses at the change of shift to the bedside enables
patients and families to contribute information, correct inaccuracies, ask questions, and learn
first-hand about their plan of care.

The U.S. healthcare system is grappling with big issues these days. Driven by a three-part goal defined as the “triple aim,” every American hospital is committed to improving the health of the population they serve, enhancing the patient experience and outcomes, and reducing the per capita cost of care.

Achieving high marks in all three areas is a tall order. But when the triple aim is taken one goal at a time, and broken into manageable steps, hospitals like Frederick Memorial are making great strides.

For example, FMH has launched an initiative to enhance the experience and outcomes of its hospitalized patients by focusing on providing a higher level of “patient-centered care” than ever before. This concept establishes a stronger partnership between patients and their families, and the entire healthcare team. Better communication and a more open dialogue ensures that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care, and that all decisions that are made respect patients’ wants, needs and preferences.

One simple reflection of patient-centered care in the hospital setting is “bedside shift reporting.” When staff who are finished their shift are leaving and a new shift is taking over, conferences about patients used to be held out of earshot of the patients and their families—usually in the hallway or at the nurses’ station. Those conversations have now been moved to the patient’s bedside, changing the dynamic of those conferences significantly—and for the better.

According to FMH Director of Nursing & Behavioral Health Michael McLane, bedside shift report gives staff going off shift an opportunity to personally introduce patients and their families to the incoming team. “In addition to a proper introduction, bedside shift report allows the outgoing team to mention any changes that have occurred in the patient’s condition during the previous shift, and talk about the patient’s comfort and pain management,” says McLane. “The patient hears exactly what their plan of care entails, and is encouraged—along with their families-- to add any information or impressions from their perspective.”

“We are finding that bedside shift report builds trust in the care process, demonstrates teamwork among the staff, and helps put our patients’ minds at ease that everyone involved in their care is on the same page,” said McLane. “The bedside shift report is just one more example of how we are working to share information, invite involvement and treat patients and families with dignity and respect—that’s what true ‘patient-centered care’ is all about.”


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