Improving Hospital-to-Home Transitions for Children Entering Foster Care.

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Hosp Pediatr

MeSH Headings

Adolescent, Caregivers, Child, Child Health Services, Child, Preschool, Female, Foster Home Care, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Maine, Male, Patient Discharge, Retrospective Studies, Transitional Care, Vulnerable Populations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Hospital-to-home transitions present safety risks for patients. Children discharged with new foster caregivers may be especially vulnerable to poor discharge outcomes. With this study, our objective is to identify differences in discharge quality and outcomes for children discharged from the hospital with new foster caregivers compared with children discharged to their preadmission caregivers.

METHODS: Pediatric patients discharged from the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center between January 2014 and May 2017 were eligible for inclusion in this retrospective cohort study. Chart review identified patients discharged with new foster caregivers. These patients were compared with a matched cohort of patients discharged with preadmission caregivers for 5 discharge quality process measures and 2 discharge outcomes.

RESULTS: Fifty-six index cases and 165 matched patients were identified. Index cases had worse performance on 4 of 5 discharge process measures, with significantly lower use of discharge readiness checklists (75% vs 92%;

CONCLUSIONS: Hospital-to-home transition quality measures were less often implemented for children discharged with new foster caregivers than for the cohort of patients discharged with preadmission caregivers. This may lead to increased morbidity, as suggested by more frequent caregiver misunderstandings. Better prospective identification of these patients and enhanced transition improvement efforts targeted at their new caregivers may be warranted.




Michael DeLucia- Resident

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