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Abstract

This study examined pediatric residents’ responsiveness and experiences in the context of a new pilot program, building an on-site Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) into their primary care training site. Fifteen pediatric residents were divided so that 9 had access to an on-site BHC and 6 did not. Over the first year of the program, research assistants observed 322 patient visits to record concerns raised, residents’ responses, and visit length. Data regarding BHC activity and residents’ subjective impressions of the program were also collected. Results showed that at least one BH concern was raised in 24% of observed visits. Residents with access to the BHC initiated 89 on-the-spot referrals, resulting in 127 BHC-to-patient interactions. On average, residents spent 10 additional min/visit when BH concerns were raised but those with access to the BHC saved 8 min/visit when BH concerns were raised. Overall, residents utilized the service, particularly first and second year residents. Those with BHC access managed BH concerns in less time than those in the control group. Residents who utilized the BHC were very satisfied, perceived a better quality of care and patient outcomes, and desired future BHC collaboration. Implications for training residents in the area of pediatric behavioral health by using an on-site provider are discussed.

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