BACKGROUND: Hospital charges and lengths of stay may be greater when adults with chronic conditions are admitted to children’s hospitals. Despite multiple efforts to improve pediatric-adult health care transitions, little guidance exists for transitioning inpatient care.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to characterize pediatric-adult inpatient care transitions across general pediatric services at U.S. children’s hospitals.
DESIGN and SETTING: National survey of inpatient general pediatric service leaders at U.S. children’s hospitals from January 2016 to July 2016.
MEASUREMENT: Questionnaires assessed institutional characteristics, presence of inpatient transition initiatives (having a specific process and/or leader), and 22 inpatient transition activities. Scales of highly correlated activities were created using exploratory factor analysis. Logistic regression identified associations among institutional characteristics, transition activities, and presence of an inpatient transition initiative.
RESULTS: Of 195 children’s hospitals, 96 responded (49.2% response rate). Transition initiatives were present at 38% of children’s hospitals, more often where there were providers who were trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics or where there were outpatient transition processes. Specific activities were infrequent and varied widely from 2.1% (systems to track youth in transition) to 40.5% (addressing potential insurance problems). Institutions with initiatives more often consistently performed the majority of activities, including using checklists and creating patient-centered transition care plans. Of remaining activities, half involved transition planning, the essential step between readiness and transfer.
CONCLUSION: Relatively few inpatient general pediatric services at U.S. children’s hospitals have leaders or dedicated processes to shepherd transitions to adult-oriented inpatient care. Across institutions, there is wide variability in performance of activities to facilitate this transition. Feasible process and outcome measures are needed.
Also in JHM this month
AUTHORS: Joseph R. Sweigart, MD, FACP, FHM; David Aymond, MD; Alfred Burger, MD, FACP, SFHM; Andy Kelly, MAS, MS; Nick Marzano, Med; Thomas McIlraith, MD, SFHM; Peter Morris, MD; Mark V. Williams, MD, FACP, MHM; and Eric M. Siegal, MD, SFHM, FCCM
AUTHORS: Richard Hoffmann, MBBS; Simon Harley, MBBS; Samuel Ellison, MBBS; and Peter G. Devitt, MBBS, FRACS