Review of computerized physician handoff tools for improving the quality of patient care.
Clinical care handoffs occur multiple times every day for each hospitalized patient, and the use of information technology has been advocated as a means of standardizing and improving the quality of handoffs. Although this systematic review identified six controlled studies of computerized handoff tools, it found only limited evidence linking use of such a tool to improved patient outcomes. The available evidence (including a recently published study that was not included in this review) does indicate that computerized handoff tools improve the accuracy and completeness of physician tools, and may improve physician efficiency. A case of a preventable adverse event due to suboptimal handover is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.