Pediatric to adult transition: a quality improvement model for primary care

J Adolesc Health. 2015 Jan;56(1):73-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.08.006. Epub 2014 Oct 3.


Purpose: To examine the relationship between quality improvement activities with pediatric and adult primary care practices and improvements in transition from pediatric to adult care.

Methods: This was a time-series comparative study of changes in pediatric and adult practices involving five large pediatric and adult academic health centers in the District of Columbia. Using the Health Care Transition Index (pediatric and adult versions), we examined improvements in specific indicators of transition performance, including development of an office transition policy, provider knowledge and skills related to transition, identification of transitioning youth, transition preparation of youth, transition planning, and transfer of care.

Results: Improvements took place in all six transition quality indicators in the pediatric and adult practices that participated in a 2-year learning collaborative to implement the "Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition," a quality improvement intervention modeled after the American Academy of Pediatrics/American Academy of Family Physicians/American College of Physicians Clinical Report on Transition. All sites established a practice-wide policy on transition and created an organized clinical process for tracking transition preparation. The pediatric sites conducted transition readiness assessments with 88% of eligible youth and prepared transition plans for 29% of this group. The adult sites conducted transition readiness assessments with 73% of eligible young adults and developed plans for 33%. A total of 50 were transferred in a systematic way to adult primary care practices.

Conclusions: Quality improvement using the Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition resulted in the development of a systematic clinical transition process in pediatric and adult academic primary care practices.

Keywords: Adolescents; Primary care; Quality improvement; Transition to adult care; Young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • District of Columbia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality Improvement / standards*
  • Quality Improvement / statistics & numerical data
  • Transition to Adult Care / standards*
  • Transition to Adult Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult