The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

Web-Based Module to Train and Assess Competency in Systems-Based Practice

Web-Based Module to Train and Assess Competency in Systems-Based Practice

Harvard Medical School
Grace Huang, MD, Kathryn Agarwal, MD, Anne Fabiny, MD, David Fobert, MD, Lori Newman, MD, Patricia O'Sullivan, MD, Zaldy Tan, MD
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
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Purpose of the study: The ACGME competency of systems-based practice seeks to increase residents' understanding of the health care system and to train them in the efficient and effective utilization of resources within this system. We developed an interactive, internet-based 30-minute module to train medical residents in the delivery of optimal care to patients by helping them navigate the complex maze of health care resources and to make transitions of care more seamless. The key curricular components of this training module are: 1) the basic elements of Medicare and Medicaid, 2) the various levels of post-acute hospital care for older patients, and 3) the role of provider-to-provider and provider-to-patient communication in patient transitions of care, including the critical elements of an effective discharge summary. Methods: We created an interactive, animated module based on the story of an older patient who presents to an emergency room with focal weakness after a recent hospital stay. It depicts a common scenario that illustrates the importance of communication in the transition of an older patient from one site of care to another. The vignette has been tailored to be applicable to multidisciplinary trainees. Interactive questions are embedded within the case to emphasize key teaching points while continuing to engage the learners.

Educational objectives: 

Specific learning objectives addressed in this module include: 1) The critical elements of an effective discharge summary. 2) How effective discharge communication improves patient outcomes. 3) Basic features of Medicare and Medicaid. 4) How intensity of interventions and support varies, depending on the site of care.

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Kathryn Agarwal, Anne Fabiny, David Fobert, Grace Huang, Lori Newman, Patricia O'Sullivan and Zaldy Tan. Web-Based Module to Train and Assess Competency in Systems-Based Practice. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2009 Available from: