There are so many best practices that produce great results yet take way too long for hospitals to embrace. One such practice is bedside reporting. It’s been hailed for helping improve communication and smooth out gaps in handoffs, but one of the best effects of bedside reporting is the sense of inclusion it gives the patient. Last week my sister was admitted to the hospital for four days. When I went to visit her, she told me how impressed she was with the nursing staff. Ever the curious researcher, I asked for more specifics. She told me how the nurses do introductions of the next shift right at the bedside.
She added, “Instead of giving report in the staff conference room, they do it right here and include me. I was able to tell the next shift what was working and what wasn’t. It was so nice to see them working together and, even better, that they included me. By doing the report with me, I felt like part of the plan. They even updated the board with the names of the nurses on the next shift. That made me feel like they really cared.”
Isn’t this the way it should be? If you are still talking about bedside reporting and haven’t taken action, it’s time to listen to what patients have to say about the process. If you have implemented bedside reporting, make sure to ask patients what they think of it during manager rounds. The stories you hear can be invaluable in reinforcing staff efforts.