Prolonged Hospital Discharge for Children with Technology Dependency: A Source of Health Care Disparities

Pediatr Ann. 2017 Oct 1;46(10):e365-e370. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20170919-01.


Children with ventilator assistance have been supported in living at home since 1981 when parental advocacy ushered in a change to Medicaid policy. As the population of children who use medical technology such as long-term ventilation increases, we must critically evaluate our systems for preparing families for home life. Discharge delays persist in the modern era because of fragmentation between hospital and home systems. These discharge delays result in children spending time in less developmentally rich environments, further exacerbating the health and development disparities of children with complex disabilities. In this article, we discuss the complication of hospital discharge and how it contributes to health and developmental disparities. We also describe a hospital-to-home transitional care model, which presents a home-like environment to provide developmental support while focusing on parental training, home nursing, and public-funding arrangements. [Pediatr Ann. 2017;46(10):e365-e370.].

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Transfer / methods*
  • Time Factors