ASH Releases Toolkit for Transition from Pediatric to Adult Hematologic Care
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) recently released a new toolkit for hematologists and their patients to ease the transition between pediatric and adult care. This toolkit was developed to eliminate gaps in care and help the patient manage his/her own healthcare. It was prepared in response to the fact that many youth are unprepared for the change in care and they may not know their medical history, prescriptions, insurance information, or even how to make a doctor’s appointment. As teenagers transition into adult care, they may feel overwhelmed or forgotten in the new system once they leave pediatrics. This toolkit seeks to resolve this gap in practice by providing forms to start the conversation between the patient, parent, and physician to help prepare the adolescent to transition to adult care.
The forms were part of a broader initiative led by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and included several member organizations from the ACP Council of Subspecialties (CSS), including ASH. A broad ACP work group designed the general templates and the Society worked to customize the tools for hematology. An ASH Transitions Work Group developed three parts of the hematology-specific toolkit: (1) generic forms for patients with any hematologic condition, with an appendix that includes links to additional condition-specific guidelines and resources, (2) forms for hemophilia, and (3) forms for sickle cell disease. The toolkit for each condition includes two parts—a transition readiness assessment and a clinical summary. The transition readiness assessment is intended to be completed by the patient to determine the readiness for the adolescent to transition to adult care. The assessment helps to identify the patient’s understanding of his/her condition and ability to manage medications, appointments, insurance, and medical privacy issues. The clinical summary is intended to be completed by both the referring provider and patient. Direct links to each form are included at the end of this article.
The forms were officially launched at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting 2016. ASH was one organization of several which released condition-specific toolkits, all of which are available on ACP’s website. The launch included a panel of experts in transitional care who spoke about the importance of establishing a standardized approach for adolescents moving from pediatric to adult care.
The tools were reviewed by both pediatric and adult hematologists and ASH’s Committees on Practice and Quality, as well as the Society’s Officers before being reviewed by the ACP Steering Committee and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The Society believes that the hematologic toolkit provides a comprehensive approach to successfully managing transitions for patients with various hematologic conditions. The Society hopes to expand on these tools in the future and develop additional toolkits for other hematologic conditions.
To learn more about the broader ACP initiative and to access forms developed by other organizations, please visit ACP Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions Initiative