A Chronic Disease Management Student–Faculty Collaborative Practice: Educating Students on Innovation in Health Care Delivery

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Abstract

Problem

In the current transformative health care landscape, it is imperative that clinician educators inspire future clinicians to practice primary care in a dynamic environment. A focus on patient-centered, goal-oriented care for patients with chronic conditions is critical.

Approach

In 2009, Harvard Medical School founded the Crimson Care Collaborative, a student–faculty collaborative practice (SFCP) network. With the aim of expanding clinical and educational opportunities for medical students and improving patient control of chronic disease (i.e., hypertension, obesity, and diabetes) in an innovative learning environment, in 2012, the authors developed a novel SFCP at their hospital-based academic primary care practice. In this SFCP, students learn to explore patient priorities, provide focused counseling and education, and assist patients with self-management goals during clinical visits.

Outcomes

From 2012 to 2014, 250 student volunteers participated in the SFCP as clinicians, innovators, educators, and leaders, with between 80 and 95 medical students engaging each semester. Between January 2012 and March 2014, there were 476 urgent care or chronic disease management visits. Patients with chronic diseases were seen at least twice on average, and by 2014, chronic disease management visits accounted for approximately 74% of visits.

Next Steps

Work is under way to create assessment tools to evaluate the practice’s educa tional impact and student understanding of the current health care system, develop interdisciplinary care teams, expand efforts in registry management and broaden the patient recruitment scope, further emphasize patient engage ment and retention, and evaluate chronic disease management and patient satisfaction effectiveness.

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