Excellent patient care is the number one priority at Boone County Hospital (BCH). Part of providing quality care is keeping the lines of communication flowing. In an effort to improve the communication process for the patient and caregivers, the Medical/Surgical Department at Boone County Hospital has implemented “bedside reports.”
Bedside reports will keep the patient better informed about their plan of care, medications, tests and progress while they are a patient at BCH. The patient’s nurse will provide bedside reporting in the presence of the patient at each shift change to ensure all of the patient’s healthcare information has been communicated correctly to the nurse coming on duty; it is also an opportunity for the patient to meet the nurse.
According to Denise Turner, Director of Med/Surg, the planning for bedside reporting began in July 2010, with the goal of implementing the entire process by summer 2011. “We’re hoping this new process between caregivers and the patient will help in setting goals for the patient’s recovery. It’s also an opportunity for the patient to ask questions,” says Denise.
Bedside reporting has many positive benefits for the patient. They will:
• See and hear from a team of professionals who are providing their care.
• Be reassured that everyone is getting the necessary information.
• Feel more informed about their care, thereby, making them less anxious and more compliant with their care and treatments.
• Be more satisfied because they know things are being done and monitored throughout the shift.
• Know who their nurse is on every shift.
According to Denise, many patients perceive the time during shift change to be a time when no one is around. Data indicates communication issues are the root causes of about 30 percent of patient safety events. Improved communication between caregivers will greatly improve patient care and outcomes.
Additional benefits of bedside reporting to not only the patient, but to the family and staff are:
• Decreases the potential for misses and mistakes.
• Increases patient involvement and addresses keeping patients informed.
• Increases trust for the patient and family.
• Decreases patient wait time at change of shift.
• Increases accountability for nurses as they report off visually in front of patients and each other.
• Increases new RN skill level—RN’s can see and hear what the experienced RN is doing and why.
• Increases teamwork between shifts.
Bedside reporting allows staff to maintain the high quality of care the patient deserves and expects as a patient at BCH. “We want the patient’s perspective because their input is important to us,” says Denise. “It isn’t about us, our schedule or our comfort zone. Our priority must be the patients. After all, they are the reason why we are here.”