24 hour sheets are notes that are kept by the nurses to give them a quick reference to recent changes over the last few shifts in the care or condition of a nursing home resident. It is part of how the nursing staff communicates with one another concerning the residents under their care.
In most nursing homes, the sheets are kept according to the rooms that a nurse would be assigned rather than the particular resident. At the start of the shift, a nurse coming on duty will relieve the nurse coming off duty of care for a particular group of residents. The 24 hour sheet allows the nurse coming on duty to see what has been happening over the last few shifts.
24 hour sheets are not a part of the resident’s chart because they contain notations about more than one resident. Nonetheless, they can contain vital data about the resident which may not be recorded on the resident’s chart.
Part of what we do in our investigation of a case is to obtain copies of the 24 hours sheets. Nursing homes are often reluctant to hand them over, due to the privacy rights of other residents. After a court appearance, nursing homes are usually ordered to hand over the sheets with the names and other information of other residents redacted or deleted. Without this information, you are at an information disadvantage compared to the lawyers from the nursing home which is why we push to obtain the information