205660 An innovative program for individuals with intellectual disabilities facing hospitalization

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:24 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
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have increased lengths of stay (LOS) than other individuals and than individuals with other types of disabilities; and the satisfaction of clients, families, and caregivers is decreased. Hospitalization can be a stressful experience for anyone. Literature among other special needs populations (children and the elderly) indicates that preparation for hospitalization and support during hospitalization improves outcomes. Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) established the Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Committee (AIDDC) following a town Hall meeting when staff raised concerns about their training to serve patients with I/DD. The committee is multidisciplinary. A survey of employees with patient contact indicated that 30% have regular contact (on at least a weekly basis) with individuals with I/DD and communication about procedures in the hospital was a particular concern. Consumer input also brought forward similar concerns about communication. Related to the potential for increased LOS and concerns expressed by employees and consumers about communication, the AIDDC developed a prehospitalization tour program for adults with IDD for whom it is expected to have a hospitalization, an addendum to the nursing admission form designed to provide improved information for staff on care management and communication, and a program to provide consultation to hospital units on management and improved communication with patients with I/DD. A survey of other health care institutions found no other such programs. The innovative program at RUMC provides valuable experience on improving hospital care and the hospital experiences for individuals with I/DD.

Learning Objectives:
Identify ways to improve preparation for hospitalization and support during hospitalization for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Keywords: Hospitals, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-chair of the Rush Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Committee
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.