Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2024

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


MSN project

First Advisor

Scout E. Hebinck, MSN, RNC-OB


Problem The absence of a structured and standardized handoff during patient transfers may result in the unintentional omission of patient information, medical errors and adverse events. No standardized bedside handoff process, referred to as Nurse Knowledge Exchange (NKE), was observed in Hospital A’s peripartum mesosystem during patient transfers from the Labor and Delivery (L&D) unit to the Postpartum unit. Context Hospital A is a medium-sized urban hospital located in Northern California. The peripartum mesosystem includes 21 postpartum rooms and nine laboring rooms. Intervention Through the recruitment of stakeholder engagement, review of literature supporting evidence-based practices, and a mesosystem assessment, a standardized handoff guide was developed and piloted. This standardized handoff guide aimed to improve communication between nurses and patients as well as promote patient-centered care. Pilot champions were educated on the use and importance of the guide, and then observed utilizing the guide during patient transfers. Measure The comprehensiveness of the NKE was measured using a binary coding system. Results The pilot study indicated a notable improvement in the comprehensiveness of the NKE when the standardized handoff guide was used. The percentage of bedside NKE improved from 33.5% to 77% and the overall comprehensiveness of NKE regardless of location improved from 74% to 91%. Conclusion The standardized handoff guide significantly enhanced the comprehensiveness of the bedside NKE. The involvement of key stakeholders in promoting such a change proved essential for the success of the pilot project and the sustainability of the suggested change going forward.