Knowledge Handover

A knowledge handover is a face-to-face meeting between those who have improved care and have learning about that process to share with others, and those who need to learn from them to apply that learning in their own setting.  The meeting provides the opportunity for those with knowledge (the transmitting team) to share that knowledge with others (the receiving team).  It is an example of PUSH by the transmitting team and PULL by the receiving team.

Who attends

Since a handover meeting is mainly for the benefit of the receiving team, there will be more participants from the “receivers” than the “transmitters.”

In improvement work that may have involved a large number of teams, a decision should be made on who are the most knowledgeable individuals who know and can convey the key learning from an improvement effort who could represent all the teams who have implemented improvements in the handover meeting.  It is important to make sure that all key actors in the care process are represented in the handover.

The “receivers” who attend the knowledge handover meeting should represent all the different types of facilities and providers who are involved in the care process that is the subject of the handover. 


The transmitting team hold a pre-meeting to discuss the key learning points they may wish to share with the receiving team.  The transmitting team will also compile any documents that might be useful to the receiving team.

A presentation will be created by the transmitting team to illustrate the key learning points they wish to share with the receiving team.  Where appropriate, notes can be added to the PowerPoint slides to add context to the learning point illustrated in the slides.  Typically one slide per learning point will be used.

The receiving team also holds a pre-meeting to discuss what they would like to learn.  This information is sent to the transmitting team so that the receiving team’s needs can be incorporated into the presentation.

The handover meeting

The receiving team will appoint one of their members to take notes.

The leader of the transmitting team presents the PowerPoint presentation on key learning points. 

At the conclusion of each slide, the transmitting team leader invites the receiving team into a conversation.  The conversation clarifies the context of both the transmitting team and the receiving team and discusses how the learning might be relevant to the receiving team.

Each key learning point is covered in turn until all the key learning points have been covered.


At the end of the meeting the receiving team leader will summarize the key learning that the receiving team will take away for further consideration.


A few months after a two-year chronic care improvement intervention in District A was over, the project team gathered notes from the final harvest meeting on the most important changes that facility-level improvement teams found would lead to better chronic care.  They compiled these notes into a set of recommendations and lists of key changes organized by major process of chronic care.  To introduce these ideas to District B, they interviewed district leaders and heads of major health facilities in District B to find out what questions they had about the chronic care model.  The project team then worked with leaders from District A to think through what was the key advice District A would give to District B, taking into account District B’s questions. The project then held a one-day handover meeting to discuss the lessons and questions. The meeting was designed to allow interactive discussion around each of the key questions and lessons. The handover meeting was attended by 50 people—5 from the project and the Ministry of Health, 10 from District A, and 35 from District B, representing various facilities and types of providers.  Follow-up visits to specific facilities in District A were organized over the following weeks, to provide implementers in District B with the chance to see the chronic care model in practice in District A facilities.

Report Author(s): 
Nancy M. Dixon
Common Knowledge Associates
ASSIST publication: 
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