Safe Transitions for Every Patient (STEP): A Resource Guide for Community Preceptors

Publication ID Published Volume
9225 August 24, 2012 8


The primary goal of this material is to both prepare and support community preceptors engaged in undergraduate and graduate medical education, to enhance communication and care-transition information. Care transitions are a key component of good patient care and poor communication is known to be a major contributor to patient harm. This information is designed to enhance teaching in these critical areas.

This instructional product contains an instructional guide, a powerpoint orientation to care transition curricula and a toolkit of written materials to remain at the community preceptors' office and used as a resource for practical prompts and teaching when medical students are present. Materials include a case analysis form, a patient interview form and a consultation/referral request form.

The toolkit was piloted in eight separate sessions with community primary care preceptors. The evaluation form used was based on a standard post-faculty development session instrument, and then re-designed for efficiency.

Session evaluations from 45 preceptors utilized a likert scale of 1-4 with 4 being “strongly agree”. Preceptors indicated that they would be able to teach students to: define care transitions (3.54); list major components of safe transitions (3.60); describe the role that effective transitions have on safe and high quality patient care (3.69); and how to use the PRIMARY mnemonic for a patient transition (3.27).

Preceptors also indicated that the information presented was informative and relevant (3.67); useful for patient care (3.23); used for teaching (3.20); and presented in an effective way (3.40).

Data provided the curriculum team with both "reaction" and "learning" data, along with intentions to use the material.


Young S, Zikos A, Morzinski J, Meurer L. Safe transitions for every patient (STEP): a resource guide for community preceptors. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2012;8:9225.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to define Transition(s) of Care.
  2. To list major components of safe transitions.
  3. To describe crucial role that effective transitions have on safe and high quality patient care.
  4. To use the PRIMARY mnemonic to systematically prepare and convey a patient transition to a colleague.
  5. To identify > 1 thing you as a student/resident can to enhance effective care transitions.


  • Handoffs, Care Transitions, Critical Incidents, Patient Safety


  1. Havas N, Nelson K, Densmore E, Klehm D, Simpson D & the Primary Care STEP Collaborative. A Step Closer: A curriculum for primary care transitions in patient care. ACGME Annual Meeting –March 4-7, 2010. Nashville, TN. (Marvin R. Dunn Posters Session Certificate of Recognition).
  2. Simpson D, Marcdante K, Morzinski J, & STEP Collaborative. Approaching Faculty Development as Service Learning – STEP Program. AAMC Central Group on Educational Affairs Annual Meeting. April 8-10, 2010. Chicago, IL. (2010 Innovations in Medical Education CME Poster Award).

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