Accreditation

Q&A with Kurt Patton

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, April 1, 2007

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Q: One of our medical-surgical units routinely tape records a shift report. Before the oncoming shift listens to the tape, they go on rounds with a nurse from the previous shift, bed to bed. During this bed-to-bed report, they discuss the patient's previous shift-sometimes briefly and other times more in depth.

After rounds, an oncoming nurse listens to the more detailed taped report. By the time the nurse is finished listening, more often than not, the nurse who provided the taped report has left. Is it required that the nurse who taped the report stay to answer any possible questions? Or is the fact that they went on rounds enough of an opportunity for face-to-face questions to satisfy The Joint Commission requirement?

It would not be necessary for the departing shift nurse to stay in order to answer potential questions. However, there is a responsibility to be able to get person-to-person dialogue if needed, and that is a challenge. The program design of a face-to-face, verbal handoff should provide the opportunity to hear the most important issues and ask questions that may be needed to care for the patient on the coming shift.

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