Multiyear outcomes of a population-oriented care redesign in an internal medicine residency continuity clinic

Alex H. Cho, Natasha T. Namdari, Lynn Bowlby, Daniella A. Zipkin, Lawrence Greenblatt, Holly E. Causey, Jan M. Dillard, Adia K. Ross, Jane Pendergast, L. Ebony Boulware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cornerstone of ambulatory care training for internal medicine residents is the continuity clinic, which often serves medically and psychosocially complex patients. We conducted and evaluated a population-oriented redesign to improve care for “high-needs” patients and the resident experience at a hospital-based safety net primary care internal medicine practice in the Southeastern U.S. A Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement, Control (DMAIC) framework was adapted to identify and develop three main interventions to address major unmet needs of patients and trainees: (1) a behavioral health-focused team care model; (2) a formalized hospital discharge transitions workflow; and (3) the creation of larger “firms” of smaller resident practice partnerships. We constructed a financial model to justify investments, with metrics to track progress. Over three years, sustained reductions in hospitalizations and ED visits (mean annual changes of –11.6% and –16.9%, respectively) were achieved. Resident primary care provider (PCP)-to-patient continuity and satisfaction also improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-741
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Graduate medical education
  • Population health
  • Primary care redesign
  • Underserved populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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