24/7 Access to Care

CARE Award teams interviewed 500 families of children with medical complexity (CMC) after experiencing an emergency department (ED) visit to better understand what led them to take their child to the ED, and what could have been done to prevent the visit. This revealed that families needed a better system for accessing care when their child became ill.

Access to care was one of four care delivery change concepts implemented in the CARE Award to decrease ED utilization. A customized, proactive access plan for each CMC ensures 24/7 access for the family to reach a single point of contact – a qualified provider familiar with the child’s needs – for immediate guidance in managing changes in the child's health.


Access to Care: A Family-Centered Approach

To develop an effective framework for improving access to care, CARE Award teams researched the reasons that drove families to the ED. These efforts uncovered best practices for access and prioritized family partnerships to ensure every CMC had access to the right care, with the right provider.


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Medical Homes Support Care Coordination

Partnering with primary care physicians to care for CMC in a medical home was essential in the CARE Award. Access plans and care plans were the two change concepts that resonated most with John Morehous, M.D., Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “Just by asking families about their goals, what they want for their children, we were able to dig past the regular medical stuff and get to what really matters to them, rather than what’s on our list or our check boxes.”

“The access plans helped us think about how patients and families approach us.”


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Family-Centered Care for Children with Medical Complexity

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Invoking the Power of Family Partnerships

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Reflections on Care Coordination

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Impacting the Health Care Spend for Children with Complex Conditions

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