BACKGROUND: There is an incomplete understanding of the most effective approaches for motivating residents to adopt guideline-recommended practices for hospital discharges.
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated internal medicine (IM) residents' exposure to educational experiences focused on facilitating hospital discharges and compared those experiences based on correlations with residents' perceived responsibility for safely transitioning patients from the hospital.
METHODS: A cross-sectional, multi-center survey of IM residents at 9 US university- and community-based training programs in 2014-2015 measured exposure to 8 transitional care experiences, their perceived impact on care transitions attitudes, and the correlation between experiences and residents' perceptions of postdischarge responsibility.
RESULTS: Of 817 residents surveyed, 469 (57%) responded. Teaching about care transitions on rounds was the most common educational experience reported by residents (74%, 327 of 439). Learning opportunities with postdischarge patient contact were less common (clinic visits: 32%, 142 of 439; telephone calls: 12%, 53 of 439; and home visits: 4%, 18 of 439). On a 1-10 scale (10 = highest impact), residents rated postdischarge clinic as having the highest impact on their motivation to ensure safe transitions of care (mean = 7.61). Prior experiences with a postdischarge clinic visit, home visit, or telephone call were each correlated with increased perceived responsibility for transitional care tasks (correlation coefficients 0.12 [P = .004], 0.1 [P = .012], and 0.13 [P = 001], respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: IM residents learn to facilitate hospital discharges most often through direct patient care. Opportunities to interact with patients across the postdischarge continuum are uncommon, despite correlating with increased perceived responsibility for ensuring safe transitions of care.
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