Department of Veterans Affairs: Academic PACT (Patient Aligned Care Team): A blueprint for primary care redesign in academic practice settings"
In 2010, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) launched a program to transform its primary care system into a team-based care model in which all Veterans were assigned to Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) in more than 900 primary care clinics nationwide. For those VA medical centers with health professions education programs, this transformation offers the additional challenge of integrating clinical trainees into the PACT environment.
As a principal primary care training site, the PACT model must provide a robust learning experience to achieve VA’s statutory educational mission. In this report, an “Academic PACT” is defined as a primary care clinical practice that includes educating health professions trainees as an integral component of its mission. Meaningful roles in delivering care for trainees from medicine, mental health, undergraduate nursing, advanced practice nursing, social work, pharmacy, and other health professions distinguish Academic PACTs from other PACTs.
Academic PACTs must deliver patient-centered, team-based, high quality care and provide education that prepares graduates for patient-centered care practice. In order to fulfill these dual missions, stakeholders at all levels inside and outside of the VHA must understand and address the unique challenges of Academic PACT implementation.
With this goal in mind and after careful study, the Academic PACT Work Group respectfully provides the following recommendations and underlying rationales for leadership consideration.