Nutrition support nursing handoff: a computerized template
At a large Midwest private nutrition support practice, a manual reporting tool has been the communication practice used in daily handoff practiced. For patients who require consultation from the Nutrition Support Consulting Service, accurate communication of the nutrition plan of care among members of the health care team is a critical element of patient care and safety. Because communication errors are a leading cause of sentinel events for patients, having a safe transfer of care from nurse to nurse each day is imperative. A nutrition support computerized handoff template not only creates continuity of care among team members, it also results in patient safety and improved standardization of patient nutritional information daily via a computerized template. Using the computer for nutrition support nursing handoff promotes trust among coworkers and optimizes patient interaction as less time is spent manually documenting patient data. Watson’s Caring Theory and the concept of intentionally provide a framework for implementing the computerized handoff template. A conceptual metaphor of relay runner with baton provides a visual for the goals of a computerized handoff template that integrates caring intentionally and relationships into practice. The use of a standardized reporting tool in the computerized handoff template for nutrition support nurses will be evaluated through colleagues’ feedback and a confidential interview with a nursing administrator. Nurses who implement the computerized handoff template into their practice will produce a more efficient method of recording patient data while demonstrating greater commitment to the caring acts that encompass nursing practice.