Bedside nursing handover: a case study

Int J Nurs Pract. 2010 Feb;16(1):27-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2009.01809.x.


A case study of six wards in two hospitals was undertaken to describe the structures, processes and perceptions of outcomes of bedside handover in nursing. A total of 532 bedside handovers were observed and 34 interviews with nurses were conducted. Important structural elements related to the staff, patients, the handover sheet and the bedside chart. A number of processes before, during and after the handover were implemented. They included processes for managing patients and their visitors, sensitive information, and the flow of communication for variable shift starting times. Other key processes identified were the implementation of a safety scan and medication check. The situation, background, assessment and recommendations approach was used only in specific circumstances. Perceived outcomes were categorized as improving accuracy and service delivery, and promoting patient-centred care. Although the move to bedside handover is not the norm, it reflects a patient-centred approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Australia
  • Communication*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Documentation
  • Female
  • Hospital Units / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records, Problem-Oriented
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Process / organization & administration
  • Nursing Records
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / psychology
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patients' Rooms / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching Rounds / organization & administration*