Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
This paper discusses a developmental, interdisciplinary quality improvement project that seeks to improve healthcare communication by standardizing clinician communication across all levels of care. The purpose of this project was to develop an organizational policy and interdisciplinary practice guidelines to standardize the patient handoff at the bedside. The initiative intended to use processes already in place in the organization and to integrate the knowledge from a literature review to plan the implementation of bedside handoff procedures. The quality improvement project process included assembling an interdisciplinary committee; reviewing relevant peer-reviewed literature; and developing policy, relevant guidelines, as well as long-term plans for implementation and evaluation. The literature review synthesis followed the practices suggested by Thomas and Harden. Key words were identified and coded by theme. The themes reflected patient satisfaction domains as related to communication. The headers for the literature synthesis matrix reflected the areas of communication most likely to be affected by using standardized communication at the bedside. The products of the project provide the organization with a policy and guidelines to support and sustain standardized communication at the bedside for patient handoff, as well as detailed plans for implementing and evaluating the quality improve initiative as a whole. This provides a turnkey solution to a practice problem in this specific organizational context. The project contributes to social change by breaking with long-standing traditions and implementing a patient-centered interdisciplinary communication process at the bedside, creating a process by which patient satisfaction and quality of care may be increased across socioeconomic status.