Report outlines steps for transition from pediatric to adult medical care

July 1, 2011

A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American College of Physicians outlines the steps that must be taken to facilitate transition from pediatric to adult medical care for patients with and without special health needs.

A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American College of Physicians outlines the steps that must be taken to facilitate transition from pediatric to adult medical care for patients with and without special health needs.

The report notes that limited progress has been made in implementing its 2002 recommendations on transitioning adolescents with special health care needs to adult care.

The new report states that transition planning should be a standard part of providing care for all youth and young adults. The report's aims are to advance the practice-based implementation of planning, decision-making, and documentation processes for all youth who are approaching transition, including those with special needs.

Based on expert opinion and consensus recommendations, the report provides an algorithm for planning and implementing health care transition for all youths within the medical home setting, beginning at age 12. The algorithm identifies 4 major steps in the transition process: 1) discuss office transitions policy with youth and parents; 2) initiate a jointly developed transition plan with youth and parents; 3) review and update the transition plan and prepare for adult care; and 4) implement the adult care model.

The report encourages primary care providers and medical subspecialists to adopt these materials and to make the transition process specific to their own settings and patient populations.

American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians Transitions Clinical Report Authoring Group. Supporting the health care transition from adolescence to adulthood in the medical home. Pediatrics. 2011;128(1):182-200.