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Guidelines and Tools Developed for Pediatric-to-Adult Health Care Transitions Initiative

Project addresses gaps in care that currently exist in primary care and subspecialty practices

Washington, May 5, 2016 -- Guidelines and tools developed to address the gaps that currently exist for the transitions of pediatric patients into adult health care were the focus today of a press briefing at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Internal Medicine Meeting 2016.  The toolkit contains disease/condition-specific tools developed by primary care internal medicine and subspecialties to assist physicians in transitioning young adults with chronic diseases/conditions into adult care settings.

“This project fits into ACP’s High Value Care Coordination Project – which is part of ACP’s broader high value care initiative,” noted ACP’s President Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP.  “It attempts to help physicians to provide the best possible care to their patients while simultaneously reducing unnecessary costs to the healthcare system.”

Dr. Riley introduced the session and explained how it fit into the ACP high value care initiative. Panelists were Carol Greenlee, MD, FACP, chair of the initiative and co-chair of the Council of Subspecialty Societies; Gregg Talente, MD, FACP, representing the Society of General Internal Medicine; and Patience White, MD, MA, FACP, FAAP, Co-Director, Got Transition: The Center for Health Care Transition Improvement.

This effort is under the direction of ACP’s Council of Subspecialty Societies (CSS) in collaboration with Got Transition (GT)/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement, Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM).

Based on the joint clinical recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and ACP, Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement developed an evidence-informed model, Six Core Elements of Health Care Transitions, which includes free sample tools that  clinicians can download and implement in their offices. These core elements were used as a basis for the development of disease-specific tools through the ACP Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions Initiative.

CSS member organizations were asked to provide volunteers to customize three tools for patients with a disease/condition of their choosing who would benefit from improved care transitions as an emerging adult. “Subgroups” consisting of adult and pediatric physicians along with appropriate representation from other clinical organizations and patients and family were established to develop the customized tools.  The generic tools from the Got Transition Six Core Elements were used as a formatting guide, but sub groups were allowed to adapt tool formats and content to meet the perceived unique needs of their patients, families and clinical teams.

The customized tools were reviewed by the ACP Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions Initiative Steering Committee, consisting of representation from primary and specialty care internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, adolescent medicine and Got Transition leadership. The tools were also reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) specialty groups.

“Developing these guidelines and tools is timely,” said Dr. Riley.  “We didn’t have much until these more than two-dozen groups collaborated on this effort.”

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 143,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.