Original Publication
Open Access

Handover and Care Transitions Training for Internal Medicine Residents

Published: February 14, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9101

Included in this publication:

  • DC Summary Exercise Intern.doc
  • DC Summary Template.doc
  • Facilitator Guide.docx
  • Handover Intern Guide.doc
  • Handover Template Facilitator.doc
  • Handover Template Intern.doc
  • Intern Orientation.ppt
  • Resident Lecture Handout Facilitator Version.doc
  • Resident Lecture.ppt
  • pocketcard.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file. This publication includes large downloadable files. If you experience difficulty downloading these files, please contact mededportal@aamc.org to receive a free DVD version via mail.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


The presentations and exercises in this resource are intended to serve as introductory training tools for interns and residents for them to better perform care transitions. In this context, care transitions are defined as “the movement patients make between health care practitioners and settings as their condition and care needs change during the course of a chronic or acute illness” (Care Transitions Program, http://caretransitions.org). For our training exercises, we have focused on two types of transitions: handovers of patients between hospital providers, as well as hospital discharges.

In this resource, we have two different training experiences offered to internal medicine interns and residents at the Emory University School of Medicine: a two-hour workshop on care transitions issues offered to interns during their initial orientation, as well as an interactive presentation given to all residents a month into the academic year.

The enclosed learning materials are part of a comprehensive curriculum for internal medicine interns and residents addressing care transitions in the hospital. It specifically covers handovers of patients in the hospital, as well as issues regarding patient care at discharge.

On the first implementation of this curriculum during the 2010-2011 academic year, the interns receiving the initial orientation gave the course a 4.1/5 in terms of perceived effectiveness. Interns’ confidence in their ability to perform care transitions tasks improved from 19.8 to 25.7 on a 30-point scale (p<0.0001), and knowledge scores improved from 4.5 to 5.7 out of 8 (p<0.0001), from pre- to post-course. After the course, 79% (34 of 43) answered “agree” or “strongly agree” when asked whether the course played a key role in their ability to hand over patients. 67% (29 of 43) answered “agree” or “strongly agree” when asked the same question about their ability to discharge patients.

This was the first dedicated curriculum on handovers or care transitions for medical residents at the Emory University School of Medicine. The lectures and exercises included in this resource are the core of a longitudinal care transitions curriculum that is now part of Emory's internal medicine training program.

Educational Objectives

After completing the course, learners should be able to:

  1. Identify what patient information should be included at handover.
  2. Communicate the essential elements of a nightly handover.
  3. Recognize patients at risk during transitions of care.
  4. Communicate clearly with patients and families, and members of the health care team during hospital discharge.
  5. Manage discharge medications to ensure safety and patient adherence.

Author Information

  • Manuel Eskildsen, MD, MPH: Emory University School of Medicine
  • Joanna Bonsall, MD: Emory University
  • Amy Miller: Emory University
  • Ugochi Ohuabunwa, MD: Emory University
  • Christina Payne: Emory University
  • Eva Rimler, MD: Emory University
  • Jason Stein, MD: Emory University

None to report.

None to report.


Eskildsen M, Bonsall J, Miller A, et al. Handover and care transitions training for internal medicine residents. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9101. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9101