Using a resident discharge clinic for resident education and patient care: a feasibility study

J Grad Med Educ. 2014 Sep;6(3):536-40. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-13-00313.1.


Background: Many patients in internal medicine resident continuity clinics experience difficulty accessing care, making posthospitalization ambulatory follow-up challenging. Experiential learning in care transitions is also lacking for residents.

Objective: We sought to assess the feasibility and impact of a weekly Resident Discharge Clinic (RDC) in increasing access to early posthospitalization follow-up and providing learning opportunities for residents.

Methods: We staffed the RDC with an ambulatory block resident, an internal medicine preceptor, and a clinical pharmacist. We assessed time to posthospitalization follow-up, readmission rates, and resident perceptions of postdischarge care for resident-clinic patients, comparing data before and after RDC implementation.

Results: There were 636 discharges in the baseline group, 662 during the intervention period, and 56 in the RDC group. Six months after RDC implementation, the percentage of discharged resident-clinic patients with follow-up within 7 days improved from 6.6% at baseline to 9.7% (P = .04). The mean interval to the posthospitalization follow-up appointment in the RDC group was 7.4 days compared with 33.9 days in the baseline group (P < .001). The percentage of surveyed residents (n = 72) who agreed that early follow-up was easy to arrange increased from 21% to 77% (P < .001). There was no significant decrease in the 30-day readmission rate for patients in the RDC group (18.1% versus 12.5%, P = .29).

Conclusions: The RDC was easily implemented, increased access to timely posthospitalization follow-up, and provided a platform for resident learning about care transitions.