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Implications of Real-Time Data Synchronization and Automated Alert Systems on Electronic Handover in Healthcare Settings

Patient safety is affected by several issues, especially in the realm of proper handling of sensitive patient data. Mostly, insufficient or ineffectively executed patient handoffs during shift changes. The reality is that poor handling of patient data during this time is attributable to detrimental patient safety and satisfaction outcomes and exacerbates the existing healthcare gaps. Also, most malpractice claims rooted in medical errors resonate with communication inconsistencies during handoffs of shifts. The ANA estimates that more than 30% of the reported healthcare malpractice claims are traceable to mishandling of patient information during shift handovers (Delardes et al., 2020). Nurses are at the core of healthcare executions, acting as the most practical link between caregivers, families, physicians, and other critical service providers. Therefore, most in-shift information must be extended to correct handling that adheres to ethical and legal requirements for handling patient information. The necessity of proper handling of patient information transfer during shifts qualifies the implementation of an electronic handover system over manual inputs. Automated systems are poised to improve patient information transfer and handling during shifts through elevated efficiency, accuracy, and continuity of care.

Clinical Question

The pertinent clinical problem addressed in this case is identifying the ineffective and inconsistent handling of patient information during shift changes. The underlying factors related to handling patient information at this time trigger elevated levels of compromise on patient safety. According to Bukoh and Siah (2020), slight inconsistencies and lapses in proper communication during shift transfers lead to adverse events, increased medical errors, delays in treatment, and preventable legal issues, among other adversaries. Tataei et al. (2023) further note that more than 40% of nursing miscommunication occurs during shift handovers, with more than 80% of serious medical errors related to miscommunications. Finally, more than 12.5 billion dollars in losses resulted from problematic handoffs. Overall, facilities grapple with compromised patient safety and outcomes where the shift handoff communication is problematic.

This analysis seeks to evaluate the PICOT question: “In healthcare settings where standardized electronic handover systems are implemented (P), how does the utilization of real-time data synchronization and automated alert systems (I) compare to manual data entry and reliance on paper-based records (C) influence the accuracy, efficiency, and timeliness of patient information transmission during shift (O) over nine months (T)?”. This question seeks to explore the evidence related to electronic handover systems and determine whether they effectively alleviate traditional systems in optimizing the accuracy of information transfer. Also, this question will research the comparative advantage of the electronic handover system in reducing patient information omissions and the overall implications in the efficiency of patient information handover during shift changes.

This project will identify the differences in performance between electronic nursing handover systems and traditional approaches—performance-based information related to accuracy, efficiency, and security differences in handling patient data during shift changes. Addressing the subjective issues during nurse shift handovers will help prevent errors that convey extensive healthcare risks to patients.

Levels of Evidence

The PICOT question, which is subjective to this study, focuses on the interventional cross-comparison of the implications of manual and electronic nurse shift handover systems. A careful standard approach should be implemented to meet the optimal security, accuracy, and efficiency of patient information transfer during nursing shifts.

This research will utilize qualitative and quantitative approaches to reach the evidence threshold required for comparative analysis. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) will be used to compare the relevant research attributes like completeness, the accuracy of handoffs, and the duration between the intervention and control groups utilizing electronic systems. However, it would be necessary to use quasi-experimental studies to compare the implementation outcomes of electronic handoff systems. Quasi-studies would help improve access to vital evidence while adhering to the ethical issues of randomizing standardized systems with patient safety relations. Overall, this approach would help uphold the research objectivity by examining the subject care-related outcomes of electronic nursing handover systems.

Search Strategy

The search strategy subject to this research was systematically attained. The first article by Tatatei et al. (2023) was accessed after using keywords like nursing”, “handoff,” “handover,” “electronic,” “computerized,” “sign out,” and “patient information .”The search result was connected to Quasi-related articles published in the past five years. Of the 71 articles, this article was selected because it perfectly aligns with the project requirements. Also, the article’s abstract clearly states the intent to evaluate the effects of implementing electronic nursing shift transfer systems instead of the manual approaches.

On the other hand, the second article by Delardes et al. (2020) was sourced on a similar filtration process. Similar search keywords were used, and the abstract reviews were then conducted through RCTs and quasi-experimental primary research related to electronic nursing handover systems. This article met the right period threshold alongside being related to a reputable nursing website (Health Informatics Journal). Thus, both articles met the relevancy thresholds required for this project. These sources offer valuable and practical insight into understanding the potential improvements associated with electronic handover systems.


In summary, the burden of inaccurate transfer of patient information during shift changes is a major safety concern that adversely affects healthcare processes and achievements. As outlined, manual shift information transfers are associated with high risks and the likelihood of inaccuracies, omissions, and inefficiencies. Thus, entering interventions such as standardized electronic handover systems could improve accuracy, completeness, and efficiency in handling patient information. Further research in this area would help integrate a successful implementation of an electronic handover system to eradicate the existing inadequacies.


Bukoh, M. X., & Siah, C. J. R. (2020). A systematic review on the structured handover interventions between nurses in improving patient safety outcomes. Journal of Nursing Management28(3), 744–755.

Delardes, B., McLeod, L., Chakraborty, S., & Bowles, K. (2020). What is the effect of electronic clinical handovers on patient outcomes? A systematic review. Health Informatics Journal26(4), 2422–2434.

Tataei, A., Rahimi, B., Afshar, H. L., Alinejad, V., Jafarizadeh, H., & Parizad, N. (2023). The effects of electronic nursing handover on patient safety in the general (non-COVID-19) and COVID-19 intensive care units: a quasi-experimental study. BMC Health Services Research23(1).


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