Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Degree Type

Final Project

Degree Name

DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice




Maryellen Roberts, DNP

Committee Member

Maureen Byrnes, DNP

Committee Member

Maryann Crowther, DNP


Since 1999 when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) highlighted medical errors in hospitals, healthcare leaders continue to pursue relevant and sustainable patient safety initiatives. Some of these initiatives include projects that increase accountability while encouraging enhanced teamwork and communication between team members. The lack of consistent communication results in decreased patient outcomes and patient dissatisfaction. Decreased camaraderie in organizations, results in fiscal waste associated with employee tardiness and call-outs. This paper reviews the process and impact of implementing change of shift huddles in an urban medical center. Literature reviews concluded that positive outcomes were associated with implementation of huddles during change of shift. Prior to implementation, an education program was conducted for 210 employees in five medical-surgical units. Two hundred fifteen huddle observations were conducted by designated observers. Post-implementation evaluation and data collection were completed over a three-month period. The review of patient satisfaction scores and timekeeping records concluded that implementing huddles increased staff satisfaction, teamwork and collaboration, while reducing staff call-outs and on-shift tardiness. Sustained communication between staff increases the occurrence of positive patient outcomes in acute healthcare organizations.