Improving the practice of handover for psychiatric inpatient nursing staff [2018]

The aim of this project was to embed SBAR as a communication framework into inpatient point of care nurses handover practices on 27 inpatient psychiatric units, and to ensure that the information given/received provided staff with the confidence to provide safe patient care.

A plan-do-study-act quality improvement framework was used to improve the adoption of SBAR in practice. Resources were developed that were relevant to the psychiatric setting; staff were educated, audits and a survey were completed.

The use of SBAR in practice increased from 4% pre intervention to 79% post intervention. Satisfaction with the information received during handover increased from 34% to 41%.

Findings of this project demonstrate that the standardization of handover practices and the implementation of a consistent communication framework across the organization can improve the effectiveness of shift handover, increase staff satisfaction, and improve safety of both staff and patients.

Frances Abela-Dimech, Olga Vuksic

Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, Volume 32, Issue 5, October 2018