I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Faculty Development Resources

Publication ID Published Volume
9540 September 12, 2013 9


The Faculty Development Resources collection contains all of the necessary materials that an institution, division, or training program will need to educate and train faculty and Chief Resident champions for implementation of the I-PASS Handoff Program at their site. To begin the process, we recommend reviewing the Faculty Champions Guide. This guide contains all critical details that you will need to get started, including: strategies to recruit faculty/handoff champions; methods to deliver training and education; implementation strategies for your handoff program; guidelines to facilitate handoff observations; and suggestions for initiating a campaign to effectively sustain the handoff program. The Faculty Champions Guide is your guidebook for all things I-PASS! Also included in Faculty Development Resources are an interactive Faculty Development Presentation which features a series of simulation videos that allow faculty the opportunity to practice observing and evaluating handoffs. Speaker notes are provided to assist presenters. In addition, within the Faculty Development Resources, there are comprehensive instructions on how to use the Faculty Observation Tools to provide effective learner feedback.

A detailed article describing the development, implementation, and dissemination of the I-PASS Handoff Curriculum can be found at Academic Medicine 2014; 89(6): 876-884. PMID: 24871238.

Goals of the I-PASS Handoff Curriculum for Residents: 

  • Understand the context of medical errors associated with communication failures
  • Introduce the TeamSTEPPS(TM) model of team training with an emphasis on leadership skills, training strategies, and communication skills in order to optimize team function
  • Learn the global elements of effective verbal and printed handoffs
  • Know the elements of an effective verbal handoff
  • Know the elements of an effective printed handoff document
  • Adopt the I-PASS mnemonic
  • Use high quality patient summaries to convey clinical information concisely and effectively in a handoff
  • Incorporate contingency planning in clinical care, especially in handoffs 

Goals of the I-PASS Handoff Curriculum for Faculty: 

  • Understand the role of a faculty champion in the I-PASS handoff program
  • Learn and be able to use the I-PASS handoff technique 
  • Understand the elements and organization of the Core Resident Workshop and Handoff Simulation Exercises

The I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Faculty Development Resources is one of six resources which are part of the I-PASS Handoff Curriculum Collection, created by a group of pediatric educators, health services researchers, and hospitalists to teach a standardized approach to handoffs in inpatient settings. This collection is a comprehensive, evidence-based, and consensus-driven suite of educational materials created for a multi-site study that consists of six major complementary components:

  1. I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Core Resident Workshop, a 2-hour didactic and interactive session that teaches I-PASS techniques and concept
  2. I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Handoff Simulation Exercises, a 1-hour interactive role-play session to allow for practicing of techniques learned in the resident workshop or online module
  3. I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Online Module, an electronic tool that allows for independent learning and review of I-PASS concepts and techniques
  4. I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Campaign Toolkit, a collection of materials to ensure adoption and implementation of the I-PASS handoff process and change institutional culture
  5. I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Faculty Development Resources, a set of resources to educate and train faculty or handoff champions for the implementation of the I-PASS handoff program
  6. I-PASS Handoff Curriculum: Faculty Observation Tools, a series of assessment tools designed to be used by institutions implementing the I-PASS handoff proces


O'Toole J, Sectish T, Starmer A, et al. I-PASS handoff curriculum: faculty development resources. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9540. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9540

Educational Objectives

  1. Describe the roles faculty can play in the implementation of the I-PASS Handoff Curriculum.
  2. Report the elements of the I-PASS handoff bundle.
  3. Summarize the elements and organization of the Core Resident Workshop and Handoff Simulation Exercises.
  4. Articulate the ways in which faculty can effectively observe resident handoffs and provide feedback.
  5. Demonstrate competent use of the Faculty Observation Tools.

The results of the multisite I-PASS Handoff Study are published and available at the New England Journal of Medicine 2014; 371: 1803-1812. PMID: 25372088.

In brief, we found in a detailed review of 10,740 patient admissions that a 23% reduction in medical errors and a 30% reduction in injuries due to medical errors (preventable adverse events) occurred following implementation of the I-PASS Handoff Bundle in 9 academic medical centers.  In direct observation of thousands of hours of resident workflow (time motion analysis) before and after implementation of the program, conducting handoffs using the I-PASS method was found to require no more time per handoff, and resident workflow throughout the shift was likewise unchanged, including no change in the amount of time spent at the computer or in direct patient care.


  • Handoff, Verbal Handoff, Written Handoff, Handoff Mnemonic, Patient Handoff, Transfer of Care, Inpatient Settings, Communication Skills, Handovers, Signout, Faculty Development, Direct Observation, Faculty Training, Feedback, Patient Simulation, IPASS


  1. Arora VM, Manjarrez E, Dressler DD, Basaviah P, Halasyamani L, Kripalani S. Hospitalist handoffs: a systematic review and task force recommendations. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2009; 4(7): 433-440. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jhm.573
  2. Horwitz LI, Moin T, Green ML. Development and implementation of an oral sign-out skills curriculum. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2007; 22(10): 1470-1474. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-007-0331-0
  3. Philibert I. Use of strategies from high-reliability organisations to the patient hand-off by resident physicians: practical implications. Quality and Safety in Health Care. 2009; 18(4): 261-266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/qshc.2008.031609
  4. Solet DJ, Norvell JM, Rutan GH, Frankel RM. Lost in translation: challenges and opportunities in physician-to-physician communication during patient handoffs. Academic Medicine. 2005; 80(12): 1094-1099. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00001888-200512000-00005
  5. Starmer AJ, Spector ND, Landrigan CP, Sectish TC, Coffey M, Cole FS, et al. Resident Sign-out Practices: Results from a Multi-site Needs Assessment. In: Association of Pediatric Program Directors Annual Meeting. Miami, FL; 2011.
  6. Vidyarthi AR, Arora V, Schnipper JL, Wall SD, Wachter RM. Managing discontinuity in academic medical centers: Strategies for a safe and effective resident signout. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2006; 1(4): 257-266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jhm.103

Material Access

Please sign in to access this material.

Please register for an AAMC account if you do not have one.


  • Contact Us

Subscribe to Our Quarterly Newsletter

Receive featured content & announcements!

ISSN 2374-8265