Exploring end-of-residency transitions in a VA patient aligned care team

Emily S. Wang, Michelle V. Conde, Bret Simon, Luci K. Leykum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: End-of-residency transitions create disruptions in primary care continuity. The national implementation of Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) in Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care clinics creates an opportunity to mitigate this discontinuity through the provision of team-based care. OBJECTIVES: To identify team-based solutions to end-of-residency transitions in a resident PACT continuity clinic by assessing the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of non-physician PACT members and resident PACT physicians. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional survey of 27 resident physicians and 24 non-physician PACT members in the Internal Medicine Clinic at the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital in the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. RESULTS: Twenty-seven residents and 24 non-physician PACT members completed the survey, with response rates of 90 % and 100 %, respectively. All residents and 96 % of non-physician PACT members agreed or strongly agreed that the residents were responsible for informing patients about end-of-residency transitions. Only 38 % of non-physician PACT members versus 52 % of residents indicated that non-physician PACT members should be responsible for this transition. Approximately 80 % of resident physicians and non-physician PACT members agreed there should be a formalized approach to these transitions; 67 % of non-physician PACT members were willing to support this transition. Potential barriers to team-based care transitions were identified. Major themes of write-in suggestions for improving the transition focused on communication and relationships between the patient and PACT and among the PACT members. CONCLUSIONS: PACT implementation changes the roles and relationship structures among all team members. While end-of-residency transitions create a disruption in the relationship system, the remainder of the PACT may bridge this transition. Our results demonstrate the importance of a team-based solution that engages all PACT members by improving communication and fostering effective team relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S649-S658
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • complexity theory
  • medical education
  • patient-centered care
  • transitions of care
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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