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Implementation of bedside handoff to ensure safe transition of care
The transfer of responsibility, accountability, and critical information from one healthcare provider to another is known as a handoff. An effective handoff must include an opportunity to ask questions, clarify, and confirm knowledge sharing. A poor-quality shift handoff has been associated with adverse outcomes such as improper treatment, postponements in diagnosis, and extended length of stay in the hospital. The bedside handoff is a communication process that generates a vital opportunity for the patient, as essential information in terms of the continuity of care is communicated. Research shows that the implementation of bedside handoff is beneficial for patients and clinicians. The purpose of this paper is to review patients' and clinicians' viewpoints on bedside handoff and discuss the impact of bedside handoff on patients' quality of care and the patients' fall rate. The literature was reviewed, patients' satisfaction and fall rates, and clinicians' viewpoints on bedside handoff were evaluated. Comparisons between current, traditional, and post-implementation data related to handoff revealed improved patient and clinicians' satisfaction, enhanced quality of care, and reduced patient fall rates post-implementation of bedside handoff. The present paper also attempted to address the necessity of changing traditional shift report to bedside handoff and introduce a plan, strategy, and comprehensive theory to implement the bedside handoff in a healthcare setting.