For the pediatric rheumatologist, a suggested transfer policy was included to be given to the patient and their parents when appropriate. This outlines:
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Explore This IssueNovember 2016
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- The fact that the patient will have to take more responsibility for their care;
- Legal concerns, such as the requirement that the patient give their consent before their physician can talk to their parents about their health; and
- How the pediatric doctors will assist the patient in finding a new physician.
There is also a suggested transfer letter to send to the accepting doctor and outlines for medical summaries for both JIA and lupus. Finally, it includes two transition readiness assessments.
For the adult side, the toolkits include a welcome letter, a patient self-assessment tool and a list of five things the patient should know about their disease.
“This can help with the transition of care just as if the patient went from one adult rheumatologist to another,” says Dr. Oppermann. “People come to our practices all the time with no information or inadequate information. These toolkits are useful [because they help us avoid] wasting resources on backtracking records, repeating tests and addressing other concerns, such as whether they have had the required childhood vaccinations.”
The tools have been released in a Microsoft Word document and were specifically designed to be customizable. Every practice can pick and choose what they use according to their needs, resources and personnel.
“These tools could help a practice design templates for their electronic medical records systems to make it easier to assemble and integrate the data,” says Dr. Oppermann. “These should help in transitioning care to a colleague across the hall or across the country.”
Dr. Ardoin agrees with this assessment, noting that she practices both pediatric and adult rheumatology.
“Even when I transfer my pediatric patients to my adult practice, I still need to address readiness of the patient, have them do the self-assessments and make sure the needed medical records go from the pediatric to the adult record. These tools will facilitate the transfer, whether it is to someone you know well, or someone you have never worked with.”
‘People come to our practices all the time with no information or inadequate information. These toolkits are useful [because they help us avoid] wasting resources on backtracking records, repeating tests & addressing other concerns, such as whether they have had the required childhood vaccinations.’ —Dr. Oppermann
Payment Issues Addressed
It will take time to fill out these forms and get them where they need to go; however, that issue is also addressed in the way the toolkits are designed.