180355 An innovative program to improve the hospital experiences of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 11:15 AM

Sarah Ailey, PhD, RNC , College of Nursing, Community and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL
Robyn Hart, M Ed, CCLS , Child Life Services, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
The Surgeon General (2002) issued “Closing the Gap,” a blueprint to improve the health of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), a population who often have poor access to health care. The report calls on health care providers to take concrete steps to provide services that respond to the characteristics and health care needs of individuals with I/DD. Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) established the Adults with Developmental Disabilities Committee in response staff concerns about the adequacy of training and of services needed to successfully care for patients with I/DD. The multidisciplinary committee has members from human resources, medicine, nursing, social services, the volunteer department, outpatient services, various hospital units, and the university. The committee seeks and receives community input. Projects of the committee include: 1: Designing alternative educational programs to prepare adults with I/DD for hospitalization and specific procedures; 2. Recruiting qualified volunteers to be trained to “buddy” with patients with I/DD who might benefit; 3. Developing an addendum specific for patients with I/DD to the nursing admission assessment. The addendum provides information necessary to provide safe, individualized, sensitive, and developmentally appropriate care; 4.Creating a survey for staff regarding their needs in serving this population. Evaluation of survey data and of available training materials will be used in the development of a staff training program. 5. Acquiring appropriate educational and recreational materials useful for patients with I/DD. The innovative program at RUMC provides valuable experience on improving the delivery of health care to individuals with I/DD.

Learning Objectives:
Learn practical steps that hospitals and health organizations can take to improve the experiences of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Keywords: Disability, Health Care Delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-chair of the Adults with Developmental Disabilities Committee at Rush University Medical Center
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.