Any transition in early teenage years can be a little tricky. When a teen is transitioning from pediatric care into adult healthcare, there are few things that can make it a little easier. When it comes to guidance, parental involvement, and personal needs and preferences, it’s important for the teenager to stay engaged. To ensure the patient is getting the best care possible, there are helpful ways to transition a patient out of pediatric care:
Using New Approaches
Safe to say, teens nowadays are very tech-savvy and are better engaged when technology is involved. Doctors are now using new technology approaches when engaging with teenage patients. When transitioning from pediatric care into adult healthcare, young adults find the process much easier and less scary when using tools such as mHealth, virtual reality, and other tech toys.
Patients are typically weaned off of technology tools and are given care in a more adult setting. This approach makes the transition much more seamless and easy on young adult patients.
Working in Patient Independence
For many years, patients in pediatric care look to their parents for questions, concerns, and consent when it comes to their health. As children grow older and become young adults, it’s important for them to find their independence with their health. In order to do this but still allow parental involvement, there are a few steps doctors can take. It’s important to have a good balance between patient independence and parental involvement. In order to do this, doctors and medical providers must honor adolescent patient privacy while keeping family engagement.
While adolescents are entitled to their privacy, parents are allowed to have full data access. Many doctors will offer parents a selective view of the patient’s portal to see a portion of the teen’s medical information but keep mental or reproductive health private. This will encourage patients to be more open with their doctors. It’s also important for medical providers to discuss family engagement
Communication is Key
With any patient of any age, it is very important to have open and effective communication between patient and doctor. Often times, younger patients are too scared or nervous to ask certain medical questions or voice their concerns. Because of this, it’s important for doctors to offer their teen patients emotional and mental support in order to create an open environment.
As for their parents, they can often pose some issues with letting go of complete control of their child’s healthcare. Doctors should listen carefully to the parents, address their concerns, and explain the benefits of the new limited access to their child’s medical information and the importance of family engagement.
With proper communication between the doctor, the adolescent patient, and the parents, the transition out of pediatric care will run much more smoothly and effectively.