Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel 'medical home' program for pediatric patients, families cuts ER visits in half

Date:
March 19, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
In the first quantitative study to look at the benefits of utilizing the medical home concept in a resident-education outpatient clinic at a specialized children's hospital, researchers found that participation in the program significantly reduced families' use of the emergency room.

For parents of children with multiple medical problems, keeping up with countless doctor's appointments, ongoing tests and a variety of medications can be overwhelming, especially for those in challenging socioeconomic situations.

As a result, families often wind up using the emergency room, the country's most expensive form of care delivery, to get help for their kids.

But a growing concept in health care reform called the "medical home" offers parents a way to simplify, organize and coordinate the complexities of their medically fragile child's health care needs. The medical home is not a location but an approach to care coordination designed to provide a constant trusted source of care, typically by a general pediatrician.

In the first quantitative study to look at the benefits of utilizing the medical home concept in a resident-education outpatient clinic at a specialized children's hospital, UCLA researchers found that participation in the program at UCLA significantly reduced families' use of the emergency room. The findings appear in the March 11 online edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Pediatrics.

The medical home program at UCLA follows guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics and includes four basic components: a formal 60-minute intake appointment, follow-up appointments of 40 minutes (twice the length of standard appointments), access to a bilingual family liaison to help families navigate the medical system, and a family binder that keeps all a child's medical information in one place.

The UCLA study, in addition to examining the program's effect on emergency room visits, focused on the need to train future pediatricians -- those who are now medical residents and students -- in the principles of the medical home and found this could also be done successfully.

"While the medical home concept has been shown to be effective in community pediatric practices, it has not been a standard part of the educational curriculum for our country's future pediatricians," said lead study author Dr. Thomas Klitzner, chief of the UCLA Division of Pediatric Cardiology and executive director of the medical home project at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. "We set up a pilot program within our outpatient pediatric resident teaching clinic to develop a working model while building the required curriculum. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that we could run an effective program in a teaching clinic and create medical efficiencies that decreased the overall cost of medical care by reducing emergency department visits."

Study data was collected between 2004 and 2007 from the Pediatric Medical Home Project at UCLA for Children With Special Healthcare Needs, which was founded at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA in 2003. Researchers examined emergency room, urgent care and inpatient encounters for 30 medical home patients for one year prior to enrollment in the program and for one year after enrollment. They found that among program participants, emergency room visits decreased by 55 percent.

"This positive effect was expected, because the medical home model stresses the importance of continuous, accessible outpatient care," said Klitzner, who holds UCLA's Jack H. Skirball Chair in Pediatrics. "The parents told us that they felt empowered by the pediatric residents, supervising faculty and medical home staff to use scheduled outpatient primary care and specialty visits rather than using the emergency department to get care."

Despite the decrease in emergency room visits, the study data showed no significant change in urgent care visits or hospital admissions, suggesting that the patients' overall burden of illness was not decreased during the study period. There was a trend toward greater use of scheduled outpatient appointments, which may have resulted from the program's emphasis on coordinating all of the care required by patients.

Plans for future research include studying parent and patient satisfaction and developing a model for delivering care according to medical home principals to a larger number of children with special health care needs.

Additional study authors included Leslie A. Rabbitt and Dr. Ruey-Kang R. Chang.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas S. Klitzner, Leslie A. Rabbitt, Ruey-Kang R. Chang. Benefits of Care Coordination for Children with Complex Disease: A Pilot Medical Home Project in a Resident Teaching Clinic. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.12.012

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Novel 'medical home' program for pediatric patients, families cuts ER visits in half." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100316152525.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, March 19). Novel 'medical home' program for pediatric patients, families cuts ER visits in half. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100316152525.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Novel 'medical home' program for pediatric patients, families cuts ER visits in half." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100316152525.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins