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Nurs Crit Care. 2013 Nov;18(6):297-306. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12001. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

Staff perception of patient discharge from ICU to ward-based care.

Author information

1
S James, Charge Nurse Manager, Intensive Care Unit, Wellington Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The quality of information exchange between intensive care unit (ICU) and ward nurses, when patients are transferred out of intensive care, is important to the continuity of safe care.

AIM:

This research aimed to explore nurses' experiences of the discharge process from ICU to the ward environment.

DESIGN:

The study was conducted in a New Zealand Metropolitan hospital, using an exploratory descriptive design we adapted a questionnaire based on Whittaker and Ball's research on ICU patient handover.

METHOD:

The questionnaires were then analysed using a descriptive thematic approach.

RESULTS:

The response rate of 48% included 45 ICU and 47 ward nurses. Key findings were that the written and verbal communication needs differ dependent upon setting and the timing of a discharge. Timing of handover also requires negotiation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Being able to negotiate the timing and nature of handover is important for nurses. In addition, standardized approaches to communication are believed to enhance patient safety.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Standardized handover, with content and processes that are mutually negotiated, is crucial to providing the safest environment for patients.

KEYWORDS:

Clinical research; Intensive care nurses; Patient transfer from ICU; Qualitative research; Transport/transfer

PMID:
24165071
DOI:
10.1111/nicc.12001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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