OBJECTIVE: Standardization of the handover process is deemed necessary to ensure continuity and safety of care. However, local context is considered of equal importance to improve the handover process. Our objective was to determine what recommendations on standardized shift handover nurses make, if we combine evidence from the literature with the local context of the nurses.
DESIGN: A RAND-modified Delphi consensus process that combines evidence from systematic reviews with expert opinion of local nurses and an evaluation of the consensus process with a survey.
SETTING: One academic medical center in the Netherlands.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty nurses from surgical, medical, neurological, psychiatric, cardiology, children's and gynecology departments.
RESULTS: Four systematic reviews on nursing handover were included to compose provisional recommendations on how, what, where and the preconditions of shift handover. Nurses reached consensus on a final set of 18 recommendations for a nursing shift handover blueprint: how (1 recommendation), what (12 recommendations), where (3 recommendations) and the preconditions (2 recommendations), which were structured with the mnemonic NURSEPASS. The nurses assessed the method as an effective approach to develop a local blueprint.
CONCLUSIONS: Evidence-based consensus is a feasible method to combine evidence from the literature with local context. We anticipate that implementation of the resulting tailored blueprint for nursing shift handover will be facilitated due to the method used. Through evaluation of its effectiveness, we intend to add to the body of evidence on development and implementation of effective nursing handover, which is an essential link for continuity and safety of care.