Transition of Care - Surgical Residents

POLICY #: 8240.25


To establish and monitor an effective, structured hand-over process to facilitate both continuity of care and patient safety.


1. The transition of care of a surgical patient from one Resident/Midlevel provider (“team member”) to another will occur in both written and verbal form (“Sign-out”).

2. Electronic/Written sign-out must include relevant medical history and notable hospital events so as to convey a full understanding of a patient’s medical concerns. Unresolved medical issues and important action-items must be highlighted to the accepting team member.

3. Verbal sign-out must accompany written sign-out. This will allow the opportunity for questions and to further expand upon or clarify the information provided via written sign-out.

4. Sign-out will occur at every level of the healthcare team; this will ensure a uniform understanding of a patient’s care-plan at every level of the responsible team.

5. Sign-out must occur every time there is a change in the team members responsible for that patient’s care.

6. When questions or concerns arise regarding a patient’s care plan, those questions should be forwarded to a more senior member of the team, including the Attending Surgeon when appropriate.

7. To ensure that residents are competent in communicating with team members in the hand-over process the program director or core faculty will observe and assess a handover for each resident and document the evaluation.

8. The program and clinical sites will maintain and communicate schedules of attending physicians and residents currently responsible for care.

9. The program maintains backup plans to ensure continuity of patient care in the event that a resident may be unable to perform their patient care responsibilities due to excessive fatigue or illness, or family emergency. See Resident Wellness Policy for more information.


RECOMMENDED BY: J. Gauvin, MD (PD) DATE: 11/14
APPROVED BY: GMEC/E. Wroblewski, MD DATE: 1/18, 1/21
DATE REVIEWED: 11/14, 1/21