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Keywords:

  • transitional care;
  • discharge planning;
  • curriculum;
  • medical student education

Adverse events commonly occur during hospital-to-home transitions and cause substantial morbidity. This study evaluated the effectiveness of Fast Forward Rounds (FFR), a novel educational intervention that aims to foster awareness of the essential elements of transitional care in 3rd-year medical students. FFR consists of two 90-minute sessions using lectures, an interactive video, small-group discussion, and a team-based learning exercise. It emphasizes functional assessment to identify patients at risk for poor discharge outcomes, promotes interdisciplinary collaboration to link vulnerable patients with appropriate services, reviews Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and teaches development of comprehensive care plans. Using a pre/posttest design, participants' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors within the domains of transitional care, functional assessment, interdisciplinary team, community resources, and reimbursement were assessed. Of 103 students, 99.0% attended Session 1 and 97.1% attended Session 2 (pretest completion rate 99.0%, posttest 94.1%). Significant improvements were found in all domains, with the largest gains seen in transitional care. After the intervention, 56.0% identified medication errors as the most common source of adverse events after discharge (vs 14.9% before the intervention, P<.001). Significantly more participants reported feeling competent or expert in safely discharging chronically ill patients (66.3% vs 9.8%, P<.001) and in educating patients about discharge medications (75.8% vs 28.4%, P<.001). Participants also reported changes in transitional care behaviors (e.g., 71.6% now review the discharge medication list with patients and caregivers ≥50% of the time (vs 42.3%, P=.002)). A multimodal educational intervention for medical students increased their transitional care knowledge, reported frequency of transitional care behaviors, and perceived competence in managing the discharge process.