Residency

Creating a handoff curriculum

Residency Program Insider, June 1, 2010

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Few resources exist to guide faculty members how to teach residents to give effective handoffs. It’s often up to program leaders and faculty members to develop their own handoff teaching tools.

The internal medicine residency program at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh did just that. In a study published in the April issue of Academic Medicine, the authors describe the steps they took to create a handoff curriculum. The steps included:

  • Creating and distributing a survey to residents asking about current sign-out practices
  • Directly observing and evaluating interns’ verbal handoffs
  • Assessing interns’ sign-out sheets and comparing the sheets with patient records to verify accuracy


Based on this data, the authors created new interactive didactic sessions that focused on resident and system problems and highlighted the importance of handoffs. The authors also gave examples of good and poor handoffs and asked residents to practice handoffs in small group exercises.

 



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