Care Coordination in the Spina Bifida Clinic Setting: Current Practice and Future Directions
Introduction: Although the potential benefits of care coordination are widely recognized, little is known about care coordination in the multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic setting. This study examined several aspects of care coordination in this environment.
Method: We conducted semi-structured interviews with clinic staff (N=43) and focus groups with caregivers (N=38) at seven spina bifida clinics in the United States.
Results: Clinic staff described several primary goals of care coordination, including coordinating multiple services during one visit to ease the burden on families. Although the structure of care coordination varied across the clinics, several clinics had a dedicated care coordinator. Barriers and facilitators to care coordination included staffing issues, clinic day logistics, community resources, and family-related concerns. Despite challenges associated with care coordination processes, clinic staff and caregivers alike believed that care coordination is beneficial.
Discussion: Study findings suggest ways that care might be coordinated optimally in spina bifida clinics. A synthesis of these findings for clinics interested in implementing care coordination or improving the care coordination services they currently offer is provided. J Pediatr Health Care. (2012) 26, 16-26.