Common Consumer Health-Related Needs in the Pediatric Hospital Setting: Lessons from an Engagement Consultation ServiceFunding This research was supported by a Vanderbilt Center for Effective Health Communication Research Grant, the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine [grant number 5T15LM007450–12], the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [grant UL1 TR000445], the Surgical Outcomes Center for Kids at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, and the Section for Surgical Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
22 February 2018
16 June 2018
08 August 2018 (online)
Background Informed and engaged parents may influence outcomes for childhood illness. Understanding the needs of the caregivers of pediatric patients is a critical first step in promoting engagement in their child's care. In 2014, we developed an Engagement Consultation Service at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. This service determines the health-related needs of the caregivers of hospitalized children and makes educational or technology recommendations to meet those needs and support engagement.
Objectives This report describes the most common health-related needs identified in the caregivers of hospitalized pediatric patients and details the recommended interventions to meet those needs.
Methods The most commonly reported consumer health-related needs from our 3-year experience with the Engagement Consultation Service were extracted from consultations notes. Each need was classified by semantic type using a taxonomy of consumer health needs. Typical recommendations for each need and their administration were detailed.
Results The most frequently recognized needs involved communicating with health care providers after discharge, using medical devices, distinguishing between benign and concerning symptoms, knowing what questions to ask providers and remembering them, finding trustworthy sources of information online, understanding disease prognosis, and getting emotional support. A variety of apps, Web sites, printed materials, and online groups were recommended.
Conclusion The parents of hospitalized patients share several common health-related needs that can be addressed with educational and technology interventions. An inpatient Engagement Consultation Service provides a generalizable framework for identifying health-related needs and delivers tools to meet those needs and promote engagement during and after hospitalizations.
Keywordspatient engagement - activation - health information technology - patient portal - mobile apps
Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
Both studies were performed in compliance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, and were approved by the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Institutional Review Board.
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