Making patients an active partner in care
We view your child as a partner in her care and will encourage her to be actively involved with her own healthcare in ways that are appropriate to her age. Engaging patients in a developmentally appropriate way is important. We call this "developmental care."
Children are more responsible with their care when they know their diagnoses and why they are being seen at the doctor’s office. By learning to identify their medications, report on how well they’re following their treatment plan and ask their providers questions, they become more active participants in managing their condition.
To help children become actively involved in their medical care at different ages, we:
- Encourage school-age children to tell us their allergies, name their medications and why they take them, and describe in their own words why they are being seen at the doctor’s office.
- Ask teenagers to play a more active role in reporting their symptoms and their adherence to their medical regimen (for example, how consistently they take their medication or how frequently they perform catheterization).
- When your child is an adolescent, we will ask to spend part of the appointment alone with her to encourage her to ask questions or express concerns confidentially.
Transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare
This focus on adapting care to a patient's age and development also includes making plans for transitioning children who will need ongoing urologic follow-up into adulthood.
Adolescence and the transition to adulthood is an exciting time when your teenager will identify new life goals and make adult choices about college, work, relationships and more. Healthcare needs also change with adulthood. In order to address and accommodate lifestyle choices along with changing healthcare needs, we actively:
- Identify our adolescent patients who will need ongoing care and discuss the idea of transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare. We will work with you to have your teenager take a more active role in his care and in his medical visits. This will help to prepare him to enter the adult healthcare system.
- Invite our colleagues who care for adult patients to a quarterly transition conference. At this conference, the pediatric providers present cases of patients who are approaching the time to transition, and the adult providers present cases of patients they are treating who have congenital anomalies. This allows both sides to get input on these patients and learn more about the management offered by their colleagues.
- Organize an adult care network for our pediatric patients entering adulthood. This network includes adult urologists in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Patient referrals are based upon subspecialty interests and location. As the pediatric urology team, we will be in touch with the adult office prior to referring a patient. We make sure the patient comes to the first visit with radiographic images, operative reports and a clinical summary. Our goal is to be available for consultation and continued discussion even after the transition is completed.
We know that times of change can be stressful for children and their families. Our goal is to provide a safe and sound transition for all children who require ongoing care.