Hand-off education and evaluation: piloting the observed simulated hand-off experience (OSHE)

J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Feb;25(2):129-34. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1170-y.


Aim: The Observed Simulated Hand-off Experience (OSHE) was created to evaluate medical students' sign-out skills using a real-time assessment tool, the Hand-off CEX.

Setting: Thirty-two 4th year medical students participated as part of an elective course.

Program description: One week following an interactive workshop where students learned effective hand-off strategies, students participated in an experience in which they performed a hand-off of a mock patient using simulated history and physical examination data and a brief video.

Program evaluation: Internal medicine residents served as standardized hand-off receivers and were trained on expectations. Students were provided feedback using a newly developed Hand-off CEX, based on the "Mini-CEX," which rates overall hand-off performance and its components on a 9-point Likert-type scale. Outcomes included performance ratings and pre- and post-student self-assessments of hand-off preparedness. Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and descriptive statistics. Resident receivers rated overall student performance with a mean score of 6.75 (range 4-9, maximum 9). Statistically significant improvement was observed in self-perceived preparedness for performing an effective hand-off (67% post- vs. 27% pre-reporting 'well-prepared,' p<0.009).

Discussion: This brief, standardized hand-off training exercise improved students' confidence and was rated highly by trained observers. Future work focuses on formal validation of the Hand-off CEX instrument.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1170-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Program Evaluation / methods
  • Program Evaluation / standards*
  • Students, Medical*