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BMC Nurs. 2005 Jan 28;4:1. doi: 10.1186/1472-6955-4-1. eCollection 2005.

Managing change in the nursing handover from traditional to bedside handover - a case study from Mauritius.

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Department of Health and Medical Sciences and Management, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius.
Department of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius.
Contributed equally



The shift handover forms an important part of the communication process that takes place twice within the nurses' working day in the gynaecological ward. This paper addresses the topic of implementing a new system of bedside handover, which puts patients central to the whole process of managing care and also addresses some of the shortcomings of the traditional handover system.


A force field analysis in terms of the driving forces had shown that there was dissatisfaction with the traditional method of handover which had led to an increase in the number of critical incidents and complaints from patients, relatives and doctors. The restraining forces identified were a fear of accountability, lack of confidence and that this change would lead to more work. A 3 - step planned change model consisting of unfreezing, moving and refreezing was used to guide us through the change process. Resistance to change was managed by creating a climate of open communication where stakeholders were allowed to voice opinions, share concerns, insights, and ideas thereby actively participating in decision making.


An evaluation had shown that this process was successfully implemented to the satisfaction of patients, and staff in general.


This successful change should encourage other nurses to become more proactive in identifying areas for change management in order to improve our health care system.

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