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Research Highlights Need for New Approaches toward Systems-based Practice (SBP) Resident Education

Kevin Black, M.D.

Kevin Black, M.D.

A health care provider’s ability to call on the resources of the wider health care system to provide effective, optimal patient care, has only recently been recognized as a key component of resident education. A 2010 national survey and follow-up focus groups of health care system stakeholders regarding SBP resident training conducted by Kevin Black, M.D. and Susanne Roberts, M.D., of Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute, along with colleagues at the University of British Columbia, highlighted both progress and areas requiring improvement. Focus group results were presented as a poster at the June 2011 annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Association in Boston, Massachusetts. The survey revealed improved efforts to educate residents about the broader health care system, including third-party payers, federal and state regulations, patient safety and alternate medical care facilities, but that what was taught was highly variable, and assessment of what was learned was severely lacking. The survey and focus groups also identified an important gap in resident SBP training–the ability of residents to communicate with and understand the needs of other health care professionals involved in patient care. With the increasing pace and complexity of medical care, marked by shorter patient stays, and patients who exhibit comorbidities, Black says, “one message became clear: orthopaedic residents (and faculty) need to better understand that they don’t provide health care in a vacuum and should develop insight into the needs of the entire professional team to provide high quality patient care.” Continue reading

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