When residents complete their pediatric training, patients from their continuity practices in academic settings must be reassigned to either a known resident of their selection or an unknown, incoming intern.
To determine what antecedent factors were associated with patient reassignment to a known resident of their selection, whether such reassignment was associated with increased health care use, and what factors were associated with continuity with the new resident provider.
Nonconcurrent cohort study.
Hospital-based resident continuity clinic practice.
Patients of residents graduating in June 1993.
Seven hundred fifty-eight patients of 18 graduating residents required reassignment: 86 patients (11%) were assigned to a resident colleague, defined as the study group. From the remaining 673 patients who were assigned to unknown, incoming interns, a control group was randomly selected (n=160), with approximately 2 patients for each study group subject. Looking at antecedent factors, study group patients were more likely to have chronic medical problems and to have seen their graduating resident more often and more recently. Univariate analysis explored the consequent factors of health care use and found that study group patients were more likely to return for a visit and to make more visits with the new provider. Multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that being in the study group, younger age at the original encounter with the graduating resident, and a shorter interval since the last visit with the graduating resident were all associated with increased continuity with the new resident.
The method of patient reassignment at a continuity clinic was associated with chronic disease of the patient and regularity of visits with the graduating resident. Increased continuity with a new resident, as determined by multivariate analysis, was associated with the method of reassignment, a younger age at first encounter with the graduating resident, and a shorter interval since the last visit with the graduating resident. This study has implications at ambulatory sites where transitions occur.