Original Publication
Open Access

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

Published: August 24, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9225

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor Guide for Community Preceptors.doc
  • PRIMARY Mnemonic.docx
  • STEP Evaluation Form - Preceptor Training.doc
  • STEP Summary.ppt
  • Tool 1 - Case Analysis Form.doc
  • Tool 2 - Patient Interview Form.doc
  • Tool 3 - Referral Consultation Request Form.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

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


Introduction: This resource was designed to prepare and support community preceptors engaged in undergraduate and graduate medical education in the task of enhancing communication and care-transition information. Methods: This resource contains an instructional guide, a PowerPoint orientation to care transition curricula, and a toolkit of written materials to remain at the community preceptors' office to be used as a resource for practical prompts and teaching when medical students are present. The toolkit includes a case analysis form, a patient interview form, and a consultation/referral request form. Results: This resource was piloted in eight separate sessions with community primary care preceptors. Session evaluations from 45 preceptors utilized a 4-point Likert scale where 4 = strongly agree and 1 = strongly disagree. 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). Discussion: Care transitions are a key component of good patient care and poor communication is known to be a major contributor to patient harm. Therefore, this information is designed to enhance teaching in these critical areas.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, learners will be able to:

  1. Define transitions of care.
  2. List major components of safe transitions.
  3. Describe crucial role that effective transitions have on safe and high-quality patient care.
  4. Use the PRIMARY mnemonic to systematically prepare and convey a patient transition to a colleague.
  5. Identify at least one thing a student/resident can do to enhance effective care transitions.

Author Information

  • Staci Young, PhD: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Angie Zikos, MD: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Jeffrey Morzinski, PhD, MSW: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Linda Meurer, MD, MPH: Medical College of Wisconsin

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
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. Presented at: ACGME Annual Meeting; March 4-7, 2010; Nashville, TN. (Marvin R. Dunn Posters Session Certificate of Recognition).

Simpson D, Marcdante K, Morzinski J, STEP Collaborative. Approaching Faculty Development as Service Learning – STEP Program. Presented at: AAMC Central Group on Educational Affairs Annual Meeting; April 8-10, 2010; Chicago, IL. (2010 Innovations in Medical Education CME Poster Award).


Young S, Zikos A, Morzinski J, Meurer L. Safe transitions for every patient (STEP): a resource guide for community preceptors. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9225. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9225