An Electronic Handover System to Improve Information Transfer for Surgical Patients

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Abstract

Proper clinical transfers of patient care (known as handovers) are important to patient safety. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and satisfaction of an electronic system for clinical transfers of patients with complex surgical procedures. The design was a single-center observational study auditing the handover process. The electronic handover system combined with an electronic health record system was developed to help verbal handover. The system has a checklist to guide the structured handover process and provided information from the health record system. With the system, the elapsed time for surgical handover decreased from 10.5 to 5.4 minutes. The questionnaire analysis showed that clinician satisfaction with surgical handover increased from 69.4% to 79.3%, and the perception of communication completeness increased from 67.2% to 81.6%. The electronic handover system improved communication for the transfer of care for surgical patients.

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