J Clin Outcomes Manage
A program for reducing noneducational resident activities at an academic medical center
Finn KM, Carty M, Laing M, Harris L, Rachelefsky L, Katz JT
Abstract Objective: To describe a program designed to provide interns with more time for direct patient care and other educational activities by reducing administrative tasks associated with patient management. Setting: Internal medicine residency program at an academic teaching hospital. Program description: The Medical Associate Program consists of 2 trained associates who carry out clerical tasks for the interns, including obtaining preadmission medication lists and making follow-up appointments. Program evaluation: The program adapted and changed after a slow start by taking on new services as the need arose. The associates developed innovative ways to interact with busy trainees in order to minimize their administrative burden. The program saved each intern on an inpatient rotation approximately 3 hours per week. Conclusion: A successful Medical Associate Program depends on the inclusion of residents in every planning step, recruitment of self-motivated and adaptable associates, design of an easily accessible system, development of multiple marketing approaches to publicize the program, and empowering residents to be proactive participants.
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