Resident perspectives on the value of interdisciplinary conference calls for geriatric patients

BMC Med Educ. 2021 Jun 3;21(1):314. doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-02750-4.


Background: There are limited competency-based educational curricula for transitions of care education (TOC) for internal medicine (IM) residency programs. The University of Colorado implemented a virtual interdisciplinary conference call, TEAM (Transitions Expectation and Management), between providers on the inpatient Acute Care of the Elder (ACE) unit and the outpatient Seniors Clinic at the University of Colorado Hospital. Residents rotating on the ACE unit participated in weekly conferences discussing Seniors Clinic patients recently discharged, or currently hospitalized, to address clinical concerns pertaining to TOC. Our goals were to understand resident perceptions of the educational value of these conferences, and to determine if these experiences changed attitudes or practice related to care transitions.

Methods: We performed an Institutional Review Board-approved qualitative study of IM housestaff who rotated on the ACE unit during 2018-2019. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to understand perceptions of the value of TEAM calls for residents' own practice and the impact on patient care. Data was analyzed inductively, guided by thematic analysis.

Results: Of the 32 IM residents and interns who rotated on ACE and were invited to participate, 11 agreed to an interview. Three key themes emerged from interviews that highlighted residents' experiences identifying and navigating some of their educational 'blind spots:' 1) Awareness of patient social complexities, 2) Bridging gaps in communication across healthcare settings, 3) Recognizing the value of other disciplines during transitions.

Conclusions: This study highlights learner perspectives of the benefit of interdisciplinary conference calls between inpatient and outpatient providers to enhance transitions of care, which provide meaningful feedback and serve as a vehicle for residents to recognize the impact of their care decisions in the broader spectrum of patients' experience during hospital discharge. Educators can maximize the value of these experiences by promoting reflective debriefs with residents and bringing to light previously unrecognized knowledge gaps around hospital discharge.

Keywords: Geriatric medicine; Internal medicine; Qualitative; Resident education; Transitions of care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Internal Medicine / education
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Qualitative Research