The Effects of Nursing Handoff Integrated with the Electronic Health Record: A Literature Review

Grace Dison, Leah Llanas, Mikyoung Angela Lee, Phd, RN, Jennifer Wilson, DNP, RN, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, 5500 Southwestern Medical Ave., Dallas, Texas 75235

Background:  Handoff reports allow health care providers to communicate essential patient information during patient transitions in care.1 Incomplete or misreported handoff can compromise patient safety.2 Along with the wide adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), integrating a handoff tool with the EHRs has been explored to enhance accuracy, completeness, and efficiency in the handoff. Purpose: The purpose of this literature review is to identify reported features, measurements, effectiveness, and user experiences of nursing handoff tools integrated with the EHRs. Methodology: This literature review follows the PRISMA guideline. A systematic search was completed using CINAHL and PubMed databases with CINAHL subheadings and MeSH terms related to nursing handoff and EHRs. The inclusion criteria: English, published between 2015 to 2020, and focused on nurses’ handoff tools integrated with EHRs. After screening the abstracts of 24 articles from the initial search, nine articles met the inclusion criteria and included in the final review. Conclusion: Handoff tools integrated with EHRs allowed healthcare professionals to easily access patient information and provided structures to make handoff consistent across healthcare professionals. Specific handoff tool features included checklists, cognitive maps, SBAR templates, graphical presentation of patient information, and flowsheets. Patient information (e.g., medication record, examinations and lab results, surgical procedures, inserted catheters and tubes, and wounds) is pre-populated from EHRs. The integrated EHR/Handoff tools have improved handoff completeness, accuracy, patient care, and nurse satisfaction while decreasing the occurrence of errors and overall handoff duration. 


1. Riesenberg, L. A., Leitzsch, J., & Cunningham, J. M. (2010). Nursing handoffs: a systematic review of the literature. The American Journal of Nursing, 110(4), 24-34.
2. Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare. (2016). Hand-off communications targeted solutions tools® (TST®). 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Grace Dison, Leah Llanas

Institution: Texas Woman's University

Type: Poster

Subject: Nursing & Public Health

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6071