The role of handoff communication is known to impact the patient experience and other patient outcomes. Handoffs are a common practice in healthcare and occur multiple times a day for each patient. Nurses are involved in handoff each shift. Based on clinical inquiry, the following question was postulated: In acute care nurses, how does a standardized handoff communication protocol, compared to no standardized communication protocol, affect outcomes (i.e., patient satisfaction, falls, medication errors, and missed orders) within a 3-month period? After completion of a literature review and critical appraisal, a bedside report protocol was developed and implemented using the Iowa Model Revised: Evidence-Based Practice to Promote Excellence in Health Care. Nurse communication, falls, medication errors, and omitted procedures were monitored along with compliance with the process. During the 3 months after implementation, the Press Ganey communication with nurses score increased from 74.7 to 80.6 by Month 3 and continued to improve for Months 4 and 5. Compared with the same period of the previous year, the number of falls decreased from 11 to 5. The number of medication errors and omitted procedures was unchanged. In conclusion, implementing a standardized evidence-based approach to nurse-to-nurse handoff for shift report impacts the patient experience. Adverse events like falls can be reduced and patient satisfaction can be improved. Working within an interdisciplinary team to develop policy related to new evidence can promote the ongoing hardwiring of evidence-based initiatives.

Date of publication

Spring 4-10-2019

Document Type

DNP Scholarly Project



Persistent identifier


Committee members

Sandra Petersen and Karen Wright


Doctor of Nursing Practice

Included in

Other Nursing Commons