Peacock Scholarship

The Impact of Eliminating Verbal Handoff on Nurses During Hospital Admission

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Background : Healthcare facilities aim to decrease overcrowding in Emergency Department (ED) by eliminating verbal handoff between the ED nurse and inpatient nurse. Inpatient nurses must use the electronic medical record (EMR) system as a means of gathering patient information. Objective : The purpose of this study was to explore the nurses’ experience of eliminating verbal handoff between ED and inpatient units and how their EMR impacts the information they non-verbally receive pertaining to the patient status/information. Materials and method: Using snowball technique, nurses with prior experience of a verbal handoff as well as current experiences with a non-verbal handoff process will be interviewed through a phone call. They will be asked to elaborate on their feelings about the new process and how the EMR upholds or hinders the process. Results: Four of the six nurses disagreed with the new handoff at the start of implementation and the other two felt neutral. All six nurses disagreed with the handoff after experiencing it for six months. Additional concerns were raised due to their disagreement, namely their perception for the lack of patient safety, the disturbance in workflow as patient arrival was often unexpected, and the lack of time and information available through the electronic medical record. Conclusion : A majority of the sample population shared their feelings of discontent and the obstacles that have arised from this new process which may ultimately add on to the frustrations inducing nursing burnout. Further research is encouraged to expand on the efficiency and safety of a non-verbal nursing interunit handoff, as well as EMR enhancements to better support the non-verbal process.

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  • 10/23/2019
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