Can Bedside Shift Report Improve Communication and Patient Outcomes?

Bridging the Gap: Can Bedside Shift Report Improve Communication and Patient Outcomes? (274 words)


Effective communication between nurses during shift changes is crucial for patient safety and quality care. This essay explores whether implementing a bedside shift report process can improve communication between nurses and ultimately, patient outcomes.

The Importance of Communication

Clear and concise communication during nurse handoffs is essential for ensuring continuity of care. Traditional shift reports, often conducted away from the patient’s bedside, can lead to information gaps and misunderstandings.

Bedside Shift Report: A New Approach

The bedside shift report process involves nurses delivering handover information directly at the patient’s bedside with the patient present. This allows the oncoming nurse to gather information from both the outgoing nurse and the patient themselves [1]. Additionally, the patient can ask questions and clarify any concerns, fostering a sense of engagement and involvement in their care.

Improved Communication and Outcomes

Studies suggest that implementing a bedside shift report process can lead to significant improvements in communication between nurses. This can involve enhanced information exchange, increased clarity regarding patient needs, and a better understanding of treatment plans [2]. Furthermore, research indicates that bedside shift report may be associated with improved patient outcomes, including reduced medication errors and patient satisfaction with communication [3].

Beyond the Report

While the bedside shift report is a valuable tool, its effectiveness depends on other factors. Standardized communication tools and protocols can further enhance the quality of information exchange. Additionally, ensuring adequate time allocation for shift reports is crucial for a comprehensive handover.


Implementing a bedside shift report process holds promise for improving communication between nurses and potentially boosting patient outcomes. By facilitating a more inclusive and interactive handover experience, bedside reports can provide a clearer picture of patient needs and promote a more collaborative approach to care. Further research is necessary to fully understand the long-term impact of this approach on patient safety and quality of care.


  1. The Joint Commission. (2020). Identifying and Addressing Risks Associated with Transitions of Care.

  2. Baskin, S. E., & Michel, Y. (2017). The impact of bedside shift report on communication and collaboration among registered nurses. Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(12), 661-667.

  3. Brown-Deveaux, J. C., & Webb, C. A. (2022). The effects of bedside shift report on patient satisfaction with nursing communication: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, 5(100659), 1-9.


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