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Improving Patient Satisfaction With Nursing Communication Using Bedside Shift Report

Radtke, Kimberly MS, RN, APNP, ACNS-BC, CCRN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3182777011
Feature Article

Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine if standardizing shift report improves patient satisfaction with nursing communication.

Background: Patient surveys taken after discharge from the hospital show that patients perceive nursing communication during their stay could be improved. Standardizing bedside reporting is one step toward improving communication between nurses, patients, and their families.

Project: A pilot bedside shift report process was developed on a medical/surgical intermediate care unit to improve patient satisfaction scores in the area of “nurse communicated well,” with the goal of reaching 90% satisfaction rates, which increased from 76% and 78%. Peplau’s interpersonal relations theory was used in the adoption of this practice. This theory is based on the idea that the nurse-patient relationship is therapeutic and that it is crucial for nurses to assess, plan, and put context behind the care delivered to their patients. Lewin’s Change Theory and the tenets of unfreezing, moving, and refreezing were crucial to the implementation of this practice change.

Conclusion: Monitoring of patient satisfaction was continued for 3 months. There was a rise in patient satisfaction in nursing communication to 87.6%, an increase from 75% in the previous 6 months. This score did not meet the goal of 90%, but did show that this practice change did impact this particular area of patient satisfaction.

Implications: This process was instituted organization-wide. Reaching the goal of 90% satisfaction in the area of patient perceptions of nursing communication is the overall goal of this program.

Author Affiliation: Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSICU/MSIMC, Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Kimberly Radtke, MS, RN, APNP, ACNS-BC, CCRN, 214 Chandler St, Tomahawk, WI 54487 (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.