Strategy 3: Nurse Bedside Shift Report

Research shows that when patients are engaged in their health care, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. To promote stronger engagement, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality developed the Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety, a tested, evidence-based resource to help hospitals work as partners with patients and families to improve quality and safety.

Nurse shift changes require the successful transfer of information between nurses to prevent adverse events and medical errors. Patients and families can play a role to make sure these transitions in care are safe and effective. Strategy 3: Nurse Bedside Shift Report helps ensure the safe handoff of care between nurses by involving the patient and family.

Nurse Bedside Shift Report Implementation Handbook gives an overview of and a rationale for nurse bedside shift report and provides step-by-step guidance to help hospitals put this strategy into place and address common challenges.
[ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 6.59 MB ; PDF file PDF version - 568.47 KB ]

Word and PowerPoint files are provided so that hospitals can tailor them for their organizations.

Tools for this strategy include --

  1. Nurse Bedside Shift Report: What is it? How can you get involved? -- Handout that explains what bedside shift report is, what patients and family or friends should expect, and what they need to do. Note: The Word document uses hidden text. To see the text, go to Word Options, select Display, and choose the Hidden text box.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 1.2 MB ; PDF file PDF version - 160.95 KB ]
  2. Bedside Shift Report Checklist -- Checklist that highlights the elements required to complete bedside shift report.
    [ Microsoft Word file Microsoft Word version - 462.43 KB ; PDF file PDF version - 187.36 KB ]
  3. Nurse Bedside Shift Report Training -- Slides and talking points used to train nurses to conduct a bedside shift report and to help them understand how to engage patients and family members in the process.
    [ Microsoft PowerPoint file Microsoft PowerPoint version - 427.16 KB ; PDF file PDF version - 382.79 KB ]

Users can also download all of the materials in zipped format by selecting: http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/patfamilyengageguide/strategy3zipfiles.zip; 69 MB.

Note: The Nurse Bedside Shift Report Training tool slides contain a streaming Flash video and require Web access. To access this video without a Web connection, users can download a separate version of Strategy 3 that has an embedded Windows Media video file.  Simply save this ZIP file, extract the files to an empty folder on your computer, and open the files from that folder. 
Select to download: http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/patfamilyengageguide/strategy3zipfiles.zip; 69 MB).

Page last reviewed June 2013
Internet Citation: Strategy 3: Nurse Bedside Shift Report . June 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/engagingfamilies/strategy3/index.html