Implementing an electronic patient handover system.

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Implementing an electronic patient handover system.

Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2017 Jan 02;78(1):16-19

Authors: Oakley B, Hunter JB

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Clear communication among health-care teams is paramount for safe patient care and effective handover. Advances in information technology have led to an increased use of electronic systems within modern health care. This quality improvement project introduced an electronic patient handover system that was intended to improve the accuracy of patient handover lists and be readily available to all members of the health-care team.
METHODS: A quality improvement project was undertaken to assess the effect of introducing an electronic patient handover system on maintenance workload and list accuracy.
RESULTS: List errors were common before the introduction of the electronic patient handover system, commonly patient location or a patient being incorrectly omitted from the list. These errors decreased significantly after the introduction of the electronic system (P<0.005 and 0.04 respectively). The workload associated with its maintenance also decreased (P<0.005) because many data fields were pre-populated by the software. This resulted in fewer instances of patients being missed on ward rounds (P<0.04).
CONCLUSIONS: Through modifying existing information technology infrastructure, a centrally maintained, widely accessible electronic handover system was introduced. This reduced the workload associated with maintaining handover lists and the rate of errors.

PMID: 28067559 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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