Components of Nurse Handoff Report

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Susan Dunn, Hope College
Marie VanderKooi, Spectrum Health
Karen Vander Laan, Spectrum Health

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Traditionally, nurses meet at the change of their work shift to discuss the patients for whom they will be providing care. This is called handoff report. The opportunity for this study arose with a health system’s transition to computerized provider order entry. This study revolved around the transition from a paper kardex to a self-generating electronic kardex, which both can be used as a part of report. The purpose of this study was to describe the extent to which the components of nurse handoff report are duplicated on a paper kardex or an electronic kardex, and to describe the components of nurse handoff report as they relate to nurse-sensitive indicators. The framework used was the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom Framework. Ten nurses were observed during report on different patient units at two hospitals in a West Michigan healthcare system. These ten nurses were observed again after the transition. Microsoft Excel and SPSS statistical software were used for data analysis. It was found that more components of report were included in the electronic kardex and 23.4% of report related to nurse-sensitive indicators. This shows that the electronic kardex contained more information, but it did not significantly change the content of report. Limitations of this study include a convenience sample and potential for missed information related to hand-recording of observations. Findings from this project can be used to educate nurses at this hospital about the percentage of nurse-sensitive indicators discussed in handoff report. The amount of duplication with the electronic kardex also implies that other topics can be discussed in report. Future research can test interventions to increase the percentage of nurse-sensitive indicators discussed in handoff report.

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