Original Research

Interprofessional Academic Patient Aligned Care Team Panel Management Model

The panel management model brings together trainees, faculty, and clinic staff to proactively provide team-based care to high-risk patients with unmet chronic care needs.

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References

This article is part of a series that illustrates strategies intended to redesign primary care education at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), using interprofessional workplace learning. All have been implemented in the VA Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE). These models embody visionary transformation of clinical and educational environments that have potential for replication and dissemination throughout VA and other primary care clinical educational environments. For an introduction to the series see Klink K. Transforming primary care clinical learning environments to optimize education, outcomes, and satisfaction. Fed Pract. 2018;35(9):8-10.

Background

In 2011, 5 US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers were selected by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) to establish Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE). Part of the New Models of Care initiative, the 5 CoEPCEs use VA primary care settings to develop and test innovative approaches to prepare physician residents, medical students, advanced practice registered nurses, undergraduate nursing students, and other health professions’ trainees, such as social workers, pharmacists, psychologists, and physician assistants, for improved primary care practice. The CoEPCEs are interprofessional Academic PACTs (iAPACTs) with ≥ 2 professions of trainees engaged in learning on the PACT team.

The VA Puget Sound Seattle CoEPCE curriculum is embedded in a well-established academic VA primary care training site. 1 Trainees include doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students in adult, family, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (NP) programs; NP residents; internal medicine physician residents; postgraduate pharmacy residents; and other health professions’ trainees. A Seattle CoEPCE priority is to provide DNP students, DNP residents, and physician residents with a longitudinal experience in team-based care as well as interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP). Learners spend the majority of CoEPCE time in supervised, direct patient care, including primary care, women’s health, deployment health, homeless care, and home care. Formal IPECP activities comprise about 20% of time, supported by 3 educational strategies: (1) Panel management (PM)/quality improvement (QI); (2) Team building/ communications; and (3) Clinical content seminars to expand trainee clinical knowledge and skills and curriculum developed with the CoEPCE enterprise core domains in mind (Table).

Panel Management

Clinicians are increasingly being required to proactively optimize the health of an assigned population of patients in addition to assessing and managing the health of individual patients presenting for care. To address the objectives of increased accountability for population health outcomes and improved face-to-face care, Seattle CoEPCE developed curriculum for trainees to learn PM, a set of tools and processes that can be applied in the primary care setting.

PM clinical providers use data to proactively provide care to their patients between traditional clinic visits. The process is proactive in that gaps are identified whether or not an in-person visit occurs and involves an outreach mechanism to increase continuity of care, such as follow-up communications with the patients. 2 PM also has been associated with improvements in chronic disease care. 3-5

The Seattle CoEPCE developed an interprofessional team approach to PM that teaches trainees about the tools and resources used to close the gaps in care, including the use of clinical team members as health care systems subject matter experts. CoEPCE trainees are taught to analyze the care they provide to their panel of veterans (eg, identifying patients who have not refilled chronic medications or those who use the emergency department [ED] for nonacute conditions) and take action to improve care. PM yields rich discussions on systems resources and processes and is easily applied to a range of health conditions as well as delivery system issues. PM gives learners the tools they can use to close these gaps, such as the expertise of their peers, clinical team, and specialists. 6

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