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J Clin Nurs. 2014 Jun;23(11-12):1685-93. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12308. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Attitudes of emergency department patients about handover at the bedside.

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1
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Victoria University, St Albans, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To explore patients' perspectives of bedside handover by nurses in the emergency department (ED).

BACKGROUND:

International guidelines promote standardisation in clinical handover. Poor handover can lead to adverse incidents and expose patients to harm. Studies have shown that nurses and patients have favourable opinions about handover that is conducted at the bedside in hospital wards; however, there is a lack of evidence for patients' perspective of nursing handover in the ED environment.

DESIGN:

Qualitative descriptive study.

METHODS:

Semi-structured interviews with 30 ED patients occurred within one hour of bedside handover. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis.

RESULTS:

Two main themes were identified in the data. First, patients perceive that participating in bedside handover enhances individual care. It provides the opportunity for patients to clarify discrepancies and to contribute further information during the handover process, and is valued by patients. Patients are reassured about the competence of nurses and continuum of care after hearing handover conversations. Second, maintaining privacy and confidentiality during bedside handover is important for patients. Preference was expressed for handover to be conducted in the ED cubicle area to protect privacy of patient information and for discretion to be used with sensitive or new information.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bedside handover is an acceptable method of performing handover for patients in the ED who value the opportunity to contribute and clarify information, and are reassured that their information is communicated in a private location.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

From the patients' perspective, nursing handover that is performed at the bedside enhances the quality and continuum of care and maintains privacy and confidentiality of information. Nurses should use discretion when dealing with sensitive or new patient information.

KEYWORDS:

bedside handover; emergency department; nursing care; patient; qualitative study; quality assurance

PMID:
23808711
DOI:
10.1111/jocn.12308
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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