Letter to the Editor by Katie Matthews to “Moving Shift Report to the Bedside: An Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Project”

Patient Safety: Who Guards the Patient?

February 13, 2019

Response by Katie Matthews to “Moving Shift Report to the Bedside: An Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Project” by Edward R. McAllen and colleagues (April 9, 2018)

With Reply from Authors

Dear Editor:

I am writing to you in regards to “Moving Shift Report to the Bedside: Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Project” (McAllen, Stephens, Swanson-Bierman, Kerr & Whiteman, 2018). Bedside report (BSR), a handoff between nurses regarding patient information, has always been a huge topic of discussion since I’ve started my nursing career. Since then, I’ve experienced it on many different units where I’ve worked, both receiving and giving BSR. I find BSR to be most effective when the patient is involved. I want to propose that we make BSR within the patient room mandatory throughout all hospitals. We need to identify whether BSR has been performed or not and be able to provide a reason as to why it was not performed. This article, among many, supports the benefits of patient satisfaction increases, decreases in injury to the patient, improved communication among co-workers, and overall improved patient outcomes. So why not make this a requirement?

Making BSR mandatory likely would improve patient satisfaction scores as well as patient outcomes. Many studies have suggested that patients become more educated and engaged in their care when BSR is implemented, along with improved nurse-patient relationships and overall patient satisfaction (Dorvil, 2018). Dorvil’s (2018) study also showed that BSR improved nurse satisfaction; made BSR more effective, implemented teamwork and accountability, improved the ability to prioritize care, and made the transition of care a smoother process. If hospitals would adopt a process of making BSR mandatory and have a tool to execute it, I feel the improved results would show nationwide.

Not only can we, as nurses, make a change to promote BSR, but so can nurse leaders. Their presence makes a difference when shift change arrives. Imagine what employing and enforcing a mandatory BSR would do. Advocating for a tool to ensure that the bedside report had been given would also be of benefit. This would hold nurses and patients accountable. Patients also need to be educated in this process so that they, too, know what to expect and can help promote the change. By engaging nurses, nurse leaders, and patients, I truly believe that mandatory BSR would be of benefit to all. Let’s utilize the research evidence and practice it.


Katie Matthews, RN


Dorvil, B. (2018). The secrets to successful nurse bedside shift report implantation and sustainability. Nursing Management, 49(6), 20-25. Doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000533770. 12758.44

McAllen, E.R., Stephens, K., Swanson-Biearman, B., Kerr, K., & Whiteman, K (2018). Moving shift report to the bedside: An evidence-based quality improvement project. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2). Available: http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-23-2018/No2-May-2018/Articles-Previous-Topics/Moving-Shift-Report-to-the-Bedside.html