The landscape continues to shift in relation to the lifespan of children with chronic care conditions. What was once fatal in childhood, no longer is. One of SSC’s sponsored initiatives is helping specialists in pediatric care and in adult care coordinate the transition of youth with chronic care needs into adult care.
The initiative is being led by Dr. Sandra Whitehouse, an adolescent medicine specialist at BC Children's Hospital who has been focussing on this issue since 2010. She also contributed to the development of the BMCA’s policy paper on Closing the Gap: Youth Transitioning to Adult Care in BC. Dr. Whitehouse applied for funding from the SSC’s Quality and Innovation Initiative to implement some of the paper’s recommendations.
The initiative involves a four-staged approach that includes pediatric and adult specialists co-developing clinical practice guidelines for long-term care planning, as well as providing educational and skills-building opportunities.
Dr. Whitehouse notes, “This is such a complex issue that looking at it from just one lens is not going to solve the problem. We are taking a collaborative multifaceted approach."
Aspects of the initiative are also being funded by the Shared Care Committee, focusing on removing other barriers to care. For example, while patients in the pediatric system have easy access to associated services, such as, dietitians, physical therapists, social workers, etc., under the adult care system, the approach is not as cohesive.
The SSC-funded part of the initiative is in its first stage. The activities involve reaching out to physicians to encourage participate in drafting transition care plans in the specialty areas of cardiology, neurology and neuromuscular conditions. These plans will then be tested with a larger group of physicians. If you’d like to know more or wish to participate, please contact Susan Rabinovitz, Project Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org