Original Publication
Open Access

Teaching Video and Checklist: "Falling Through the Cracks: Year-End Resident Clinic Handoffs"

Published: December 12, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9285

Included in this publication:

  • Blank Video Checklist.doc
  • Clinic Handoff Video Script.doc
  • Completed Video Checklist.doc
  • Instructions for Facilitators.doc
  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Teaching Video.mov
  • Workshop Evaluation.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.


Clinic handoffs affect a vast number of patients each year. Studies have demonstrated that these handoffs place patients at risk for poor outcomes and discontinuous care. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) stipulates that programs must train residents to be competent in handoff communications in all areas of care. Although much work has been done in the area of inpatient handoffs, there has been little educational work published on clinic handoffs, and few improvement interventions exist. This video and checklist introduce trainees and medical educators to the barriers that interfere with safe clinic handoffs. After identifying these barriers, participants may then reflect on their own practices and identify solutions to improve clinic handoffs in their own institution. The goal of this tool is to make trainees and educators aware of the patient safety risks associated with clinic handoffs and to encourage effective handoff practices to improve patient safety. This tool can assist residency programs to ensure residents are competent in handoff communications in the outpatient setting, as required by ACGME regulations. This resource has been presented as a workshop at a national conference and at four resident didactic sessions in our institution. An evaluation of participants showed that most agreed the workshop would be helpful in carrying out their year-end clinic handoff. Overall, residents enjoyed the workshop, with 85% agreeing the workshop was engaging.

Educational Objectives

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

  1. List five major cultural, communication, and systems barriers that interfere with successful clinic handoffs.
  2. Name and describe three patient safety risks posed by clinic handoffs.
  3. List five potential solutions and strategies to improve clinic handoffs.

Author Information

  • Amber T. Pincavage, MD: University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences The Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Wei Wei Lee, MD, MPH: University of Chicago
  • Shana Ratner, MD: University of North Carolina
  • Marcus Dahlstrom, MD: University of California, San Francisco
  • Kimberly Beiting, AB: University of Chicago
  • Mark Saathoff, MA, AM: University of Chicago
  • Vineet M. Arora, MD, MAPP: University of Chicago

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
Tranforming Resident Continuity Clinic Handoffs: Risks and Opportunities. Workshop presented at: SGIM Annual Meeting; May 2012; Orlando, FL.


Pincavage A, Lee W, Ratner S, et al. Teaching video and checklist: "Falling through the cracks: year-end resident clinic handoffs". MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9285. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9285