Original Research

Interprofessional Academic Patient Aligned Care Team Panel Management Model

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The primary resource required to support PM is an information technology (IT) system that provides relevant health outcome and health care utilization data on patients assigned to trainees. PM sessions include teaching trainees how to access patient data. Since discussion about the care of panel patients during the learning sessions often results in real-time adjustments in the care plan, modest administrative support required post-PM sessions, such as clerical scheduling of the requested clinic or telephone follow-up with the physician, nurse, or pharmacist.

Monitoring and Assessment

Panel performance is evaluated at each educational session. To assess the CoEPCE PM curriculum, participants provide feedback in 8 questions over 3 domains: trainee perception of curriculum content, confidence in performing PM involving completion of a PM workshop, and likelihood of using PM techniques in the future. CoEPCE faculty use the feedback to improve their instruction of panel management skill and develop new sessions that target additional population groups. Evaluation of the curriculum also includes monitoring of panel patients’ chronic disease measures.

Several partnerships have contributed to the success and integrations of PM into facility activities. First, having the primary care clinic director as a member of the Co- EPCE faculty has encouraged faculty and staff to operationalize and implement PM broadly by distributing data monthly to all clinic staff. Second, high facility staff interest outside the CoEPCE and primary care clinic has facilitated establishing communications outside the CoEPCE regarding clinic data.

Challenges and Solutions

Trainees at earlier academic levels often desire more instruction in clinical knowledge, such as treatment options for DM or goals of therapy in hypertension. In contrast, advanced trainees are able to review patient data, brainstorm, and optimize solutions. Seattle CoEPCE balances these different learning needs via a flexible approach to the 3-hour sessions. For example, advanced trainees progress from structured short lectures to informal sessions, which train them to perform PM on their own. In addition, the flexible design integrates trainees with diverse schedules, particularly among DNP students and residents, pharmacy residents, and physician residents. Some of this work falls on the RN care management team and administrative support staff.

Competing Priorities

The demand for direct patient care points to the importance of indirect patient care activities like PM to demonstrate improved results. Managing chronic conditions and matching appropriate services and resources should improve clinical outcomes and efficiency longterm. In the interim, it is important to note that PM demonstrates the continuous aspect of clinical care, particularly for trainees who have strict guidelines defining clinical care for the experiences to count toward eligibility for licensure. Additionally, PM results in trainees who are making decisions with VA patients and are more efficiently providing and supporting patient care. Therefore, it is critical to secure important resources, such as provider time for conducting PM.

Data Access

No single data system in VA covers the broad range of topics covered in the PM sessions, and not all trainees have their own assigned panels. For example, health professions students are not assigned a panel of patients. While they do not have access to panel data such as those generated by Primary Care Almanac in VSSC (a data source in the VA Support Service Center database),the Seattle CoEPCE data manager pulls a set of patient data from the students’ paired faculty preceptors’ panels for review. Thus they learn PM principles and strategies for improving patient care via PM as part of the unique VA longitudinal clinic experience and the opportunity to learn from a multidisciplinary team that is not available at other clinical sites. Postgraduate NP residents in CoEPCE training have their own panels of patients and thus the ability to directly access their panel performance data.

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