Annunziato RA, Hogan B, Barton C, Miloh T, Arnon R, Iyer K, Kerkar N. A translational and systemic approach to transferring liver transplant recipients from pediatric to adult-oriented care settings.
Pediatr Transplantation 2010: 14:823–829. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Abstract: The purpose of this review is to (i) describe systemic changes made in our clinical practice to facilitate transfer of transplant recipients from the pediatric to the adult service and (ii) provide the rationale for instituting these organizational changes. To determine specific areas patients struggle to master, a survey assessing behaviors indicative of health care management was administered in pediatrics. Based on the results of the survey, all liver transplant recipients who transfer out of pediatrics are given a comprehensive clinical protocol, which includes a transfer checklist containing prerequisite items derived from our prior work. Patients are furthermore invited to enroll in a research study prospectively tracking both medical and psychosocial outcomes at six-month intervals. Data are discussed by the pediatric and adult teams, and additional adjustments to the transfer process are implemented in response. A summary of our clinical interventions and the resources required for implementation are presented. In conclusion, preliminary studies have demonstrated that transplant recipients are vulnerable to disruptions in health care management when they transfer out of pediatrics. This study describes one site’s translational efforts to improve the transfer process for both the recipients and the clinicians, thus improving outcomes.