Statement Rundown: The health care needs of children are uniquely dynamic due to the immense physical, and mental development that occurs before adulthood. The team-based care model emphasizes the importance of shared decision making and collaboration between patients, families, and multidisciplinary professionals to ensure children receive the highest quality care possible. Care team composition is necessarily individualized for each child and family, and accounts for variations in support systems available within each home and community. For some children, a partnership the patient, family, and primary care physician is sufficient to meet their needs. Other children benefit greatly from a multidisciplinary approach, which may include, medical and surgical subspecialists, teachers, child care providers, state and community agencies, therapists, nutritionists, mental health professionals, and social workers. Based on current evidence regarding effective pediatric team-based care, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes 6 principle functions of an optimal pediatric care team:
- Actively partners with patients and families to set goals and manages needs;
- Acknowledges that team composition and team member roles are fluid and should be reevaluated regularly to meet the changing needs of the child;
- Attempts to mitigate resource gaps that limit care. Collaborates effectively with social services, community partners, and other professional linkages to address all challenges that influence patient health;
- Prioritizes strong and efficient communication between all team members;
- Utilizes the medical home model to facilitate collaboration and shared decision-making between all team members; and
- Integrates 5 elements of an effective team: shared decision-making, straightforward goals, explicit roles for team-members, strong communication, and measurable outcomes.
Click to read the policy statement, published today in Pediatrics
Relevant reading: Association of integrated team-based care with health care quality, utilization, and cost
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