A Multidisciplinary Transition Consult Service: Patient Referral Characteristics
Children's hospitals must provide developmentally appropriate care to increasing numbers of young adults with complex healthcare needs as they transition to adult-oriented care. This article describes the patients, service, and short-term outcomes of an interprofessional healthcare transition (HCT) consult team comprised of nurses, social workers, a community health worker, and physicians. The Adult Consult Team's tiered population framework stratifies patients by medical complexity. The team coordinates HCT services for patients with the highest complexity. Patients at least 18 years old are eligible if they have at least two specialists or an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). Through a comprehensive medical and psychosocial assessment, the team prepares patients/families for adult-oriented healthcare. The Adult Consult Team received 197 referrals from July 2017 to June 2018. Patients had at least two specialists (73%), IDD (71%), technology dependence (e.g., gastrostomy tube, 37%) and Medicaid insurance (57%). The team assisted patients seen in its outpatient clinic with navigating mental health services (39%), insurance issues (13%), IDD services (15%), and the guardianship process (37%) and creating comprehensive care plans. The Adult Consult Team transferred 30 patients with medical complexity to adult primary and specialty care, significantly improving pediatric inpatient and outpatient capacity for pediatric-aged patients. A broad range of young adult medical, psychosocial, legal, educational, and vocational needs were addressed. An interprofessional team approach can help large pediatric healthcare systems address the multi-faceted needs of patients who are medically and psychosocially complex as they enter adulthood.