MANUSCRIPT: Resident duty hour changes: impact in the patient-centered medical home
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Family medicine residency programs are challenged with balancing hospital-based training with a longitudinal primary care continuity experience. In response to the Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4) Initiative, the University of Missouri (MU) Family Medicine Residency Program sought to increase the presence of its residents in their continuity clinic, ie, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). While initially successful, these efforts encountered formidable barriers with the July 2011 duty hour regulations from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
PCMH hours and visit numbers were collected and analyzed for MU residents from July 2005 through June 2012.
Comparing the 2 years before the P4 schedule changes to the first 3 years after the P4 changes, MU first-year residents experienced a 27% increase in patient visits with a 13% increase in hours. In the subsequent 2 years, which incorporated compliance with the new ACGME regulations, first-year residents experienced a 33% decrease in visits with a 25% decrease in hours. This negated the increases seen with the previous P4 schedule changes, and residents in all years of training experienced less visits, less hours, and less visits per hour.
New duty hour regulations not only limit the time resident physicians spend in the hospital but also their experience in the ambulatory setting. Considering the emphasis family medicine training programs place on continuity of care and the PCMH, the new regulations will have significant implications for these programs.