Background: An effective hand-off process promotes transfer of critical information during transitions of care, thus decreasing the risk of adverse events. For patients with neurological symptoms, exchanging information over the phone may not provide the complete clinical picture of the patient and may contribute to the receiving nurse under appreciating early neurological changes. However, having the nurse leave a busy emergency department (ED) to perform bedside hand-off on the neuroscience unit (NSU) is often not realistic.
Purpose: To improve nursing satisfaction with the hand-off process between the ED and the NSU, comparing video and phone report.
Methods: The population consisted of stroke patients admitted from the ED to the NSU over a three month period. The intervention was offering a computer with video for the ED nurse to share pertinent information and perform a neurological exam, a process which allowed the receiving nurse to ask questions and interact with the patient. Nurses who used the video hand-off (n=24) were surveyed at the end of the pilot project to measure their satisfaction.
Results: Overall, the nurses were more satisfied using video. (Figure). The increase in percentage of nurses answering “Strongly Agree”/ “Agree” were noted in these areas: 71%-85% for relevance of information, 68%-81% for efficiency, 54%-58% for staff relationships, 33%-63% for patient engagement, and 42%-75% for reducing risk for error.
Conclusions: The use of video during transition of care provides an option for hospitals to employ an interactive handoff between departments without the sacrifice of time. Nursing should further explore the benefits of video technology during transitions of care, particularly inter-departmental transfers for special populations.