Enhanced Scheduling Support to Improve Continuity of Care in a Resident Training Clinic

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Grad Med Educ


Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 2020. Background: Clinical continuity is recognized as a driver of satisfaction for patients and physicians. Greater continuity may positively affect trainee decisions to enter primary care. Maintaining clinical continuity remains a challenge in residency clinics. Objective: We determined whether enhanced scheduling support was associated with improvement in internal medicine resident continuity with patients. Methods: This study was conducted from June 2017 to December 2018. In the intervention clinic, a single scheduling Northwell Health member (ratio of 10 residents to 1 scheduler) was colocated within the clinical space, allowing the scheduler to participate in clinical discussions and direct communication with physicians regarding future appointments. In the comparison clinic, scheduling Northwell Health (19:1 ratio) were located at a remote front desk area and relied on patient reports or electronic health record orders to identify appointment needs and arrange follow-up appointments. The main outcome of the intervention was resident continuity, calculated using the continuity for physician formula. Results: During the study period, mean resident continuity was 23% (range 13%-37%) in the comparison clinic (57 residents) and 54% (range 38%-66%) in the intervention clinic (10 residents). Resident continuity was significantly higher in the intervention clinic compared with the traditional control clinic for every quarter measured (P < .001 for all comparisons). Conclusions: Enhancing scheduling support through colocation and a lower resident to scheduler ratios was associated with significantly higher rates of resident continuity compared with a traditional front desk model, with results sustained over 18 months.

Volume Number


Issue Number



208 - 211

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

General Internal Medicine

Additional Departments

Psychiatry; Science Education






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