Implementation of rheumatology health care transition processes and adaptations to systems under stress: a mixed methods study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVES: Despite poor healthcare transition outcomes among young adults with pediatric rheumatic diseases, adoption of transition best practices is low. We sought to understand how structured transition processes were operationalized within pediatric rheumatology practices and what factors were perceived to enable adaptations during a global pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a mixed methods study of team leaders' experiences during an interim analysis of a pilot project to implement transition policy discussions at sites in the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Transition Learning Collaborative. We combined quantitative assessments of organizational readiness for change (9 sites) and semi-structured interviews of team leaders (8 sites) using determinants in the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment Framework. RESULTS: Engagement of nursing and institutional improvement efforts facilitated decisions to implement transition policies. Workflows incorporating educational processes by non-physicians were perceived to be critical for success. When the pandemic disrupted contact with non-physicians, capacity for automation using electronic medical record (EMR)-based tools was an important facilitator, but few sites could access these tools. Sites without EMR-based tools did not progress despite reporting high organizational readiness to implement change at the clinic level. Lastly, educational processes were often superseded by acute issues, such that youth with greater medical/psychosocial complexity may not receive the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: We generated several considerations to guide implementation of transition processes within pediatric rheumatology from the perspectives of team leaders. Careful assessment of institutional and nursing support is advisable before conducting complex transition interventions. Ideally, new strategies would ensure interventions reach youth with high complexity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chang, JC; Sears, C; Bitencourt, N; Peterson, R; Alperin, R; Goh, YI; Overbury, RS; Sadun, R; Smitherman, E; White, PH; Lawson, EF; Carandang, K; CARRA Transition Workgroup,

Published Date

  • November 21, 2021

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 34806346

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2151-4658

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/acr.24822


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States