Standardizing and Evaluating Transitions of Care in the Era of Duty Hour Reform: One Institution's Resident-Led Effort.



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


BACKGROUND: Compliance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education duty hour standards may necessitate more frequent transitions of patient responsibility. INTERVENTION: We created a multidisciplinary Patient Safety and Quality Council with a Task Force on Handoffs (TFH), engaging residents at a large, university-based institution. METHODS: The TFH identified core content of effective handoffs and patterned institutional content on the SIGNOUTT mnemonic. A web-based module highlighting core content was developed for institutional orientation of all trainees beginning summer 2011 to standardize handoff education. The TFH distributed handoff material and catalogued additional program initiatives in teaching and evaluating handoffs. A standard handoff evaluation tool, assessing content, culture, and communication, was developed and "preloaded" into the institution-wide electronic evaluation system to standardize evaluation. The TFH developed questions pertaining to handoffs for an annual institutional survey in 2011 and 2012. Acceptability of efforts was measured by program participation, and feasibility was measured by estimating time and financial costs. RESULTS: Programs found the TFH's efforts to improve handoffs acceptable; to date, 13 program-specific teaching initiatives have been implemented, and the evaluation tool is being used by 5 programs. Time requirements for TFH participants average 2 to 3 h/mo, and financial costs are minimal. More residents reported having education on handoffs (58% [388 of 668] versus 42% [263 of 625], P < .001) and receiving adequate signouts (69% [469 of 680] versus 61% [384 of 625], P  =  .004) in the 2012 survey, compared with 2011. CONCLUSIONS: Use of a multispecialty resident leadership group to address content, education, and evaluation of handoffs was feasible and acceptable to most programs at a large, university-based institution.






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Boggan, Joel C, Tian Zhang, Chris Derienzo, Karen Frush and Kathryn Andolsek (2013). Standardizing and Evaluating Transitions of Care in the Era of Duty Hour Reform: One Institution's Resident-Led Effort. Journal of graduate medical education, 5(4). pp. 652–657. 10.4300/JGME-D-12-00287 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Joel Boggan

Associate Professor of Medicine

I am a hospital medicine physician interested in quality improvement, patient safety, and medical education across the UME, GME, and CME environments. My current QI and research projects include work on readmissions, inpatient ORYX and patient experience measures, clinical documentation improvement, medication reconciliation, and appropriate utilization of inpatient resources. Alongside this work, I serve as the lead mentor for our Durham VA Chief Resident in Quality and Safety within the Department of Medicine and the Program Director for the Duke University Hospital CRQS.

As Associate Program Director for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in the Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program, I oversee QI and safety education and projects for our residents and help co-lead our Residency Patient Safety and Quality Council. Additionally, I supervise housestaff and students on our general medicine wards, precept housestaff evidence-based medicine resident reports, and serve as a small group leader for our second-year medical student Clinical Skills Course. Finally, I lead our Innovation Sciences committee as part of the ongoing School of Medicine Curriculum Innovation Initiative.


Tian Zhang

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine

Kathryn Marijoan Andolsek

Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

My career focuses on interprofessional medical education, and collaboration in community and population health.  These are critically important areas with tremendous potential for creativity, innovation, and learning from one another.  These are also strategic tools to advance health equity.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.