In January 1993, the Baltimore VA Medical Center, a 324 bed facility, opened adjacent to University Hospital. Both hospitals are conveniently connected by a walkway which facilitates integration of educational, research and clinical activities. For more information, see the VA Maryland Health Care System.
With its fully digitalized radiology department, the VA was the first filmless medical center in the world. It also features the VA's Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), which gives residents ready access to clinical data, discharge summaries and laboratory results on computer monitors. Now that the VA is a fully paper-less hospital with all admission notes, progress notes and orders entered electronically, residents can easily retrieve and enter information for their patients.
The Baltimore facility is one of only a few VA Medical Centers in the country with two large federally funded programs in geriatrics -- Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center (GRECC) and a Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. It is currently ranked in the top four among the VA Medical Centers in VA-funded research.
The general medical services are organized in a team call system. Each of the 4 medical teams (Green, Yellow, Purple and Orange Teams) consists of 1 resident, 2 interns, 1 subintern and 2 medical students. There are 2 critical care teams: the CCU/telemtery unit (Blue Team - 1 resident + 3 interns) and the MICU service (Pink Team - 1 resident + 2 interns). A full Night Team system was implemented in 2001, allowing the on-call general medicine team to take their last admission at 7 PM and leave the hospital after signing-out their service at 9 PM. The Day Float and Night Teams ensure that residents work less than 80 hours/week on average and have 8-10 hours off between duty shifts. The residents on the MICU and CCU teams stay overnight and leave the hospital at 1 PM on their post-call day. The upper level resident of each service directs the daily clinical activities and plays a key role in teaching first year residents and students. Call is every fourth night on all services with attending rounds conducted seven days each week.
The VA Medical Center ECS is a Level II emergency center where residents care for patients with both subacute and acute illnesses. An upper level resident serves as the Medical Officer of the Day (MOD) and is responsible for triage and evaluation of all patients admitted to the medical services. Residents are supervised by faculty members from the Department of Emergency Medicine.