Unlike adults, children with chronic illness don’t negotiate their care themselves—their parents and providers take care of it for them. But as young patients move into adulthood, getting that same level of care can be very tricky. Without guidance, transitioning patients can face serious lapses or setbacks as they deal with abrupt transitions to adult-focused hospitals and treatment plans.
But what if there were a road map that could ease the transition and prevent those setbacks? Together with partners and Flip #72 and Flip #63 creators, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is working to create a framework to do just that. The prototype will focus on five core principles: 1) information 2) collaborative communication 3) resources 4) empathy, and 5) presence. As the team considers each step in the transition, it will focus on which principles to dial up (like ideal communication and shared goals), and the negative factors they can dial down (like wasted time). The team is committed to trying lots of little experiments, the sum of which will smooth the transition for patients between life as a child with chronic condition to life as an adult as well as life as a family adapting to tackle a new medical condition together, and lead to a replicable roadmap they can share with others.