Evaluation of a Health Care Transition Improvement Process in Seven Large Health Care Systems

J Pediatr Nurs. 2019 Jul-Aug:47:44-50. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2019.04.007. Epub 2019 Apr 28.


Purpose: Youth and young adults require systematic planning, transfer and integration into adult healthcare. A national health care transition (HCT) learning network (LN) shared strategies during monthly calls to improve HCTs using Got Transition™'s Six Core Elements. Among LN participants, we conducted a pre-post mixed-methods evaluation of this evidence-informed process improvement framework.

Design and methods: Leaders from seven health systems in the LN recruited 55 participating practice sites (12 primary care, 43 specialty care, 47 pediatric care, and 8 adult care). Got Transition's Current Assessment (CA) of HCT Activities (possible score: 0-32) assessed implementation of HCT process improvements in all 55 sites at baseline (2015-2017) and again after 12-18 months. Pre-post results were compared overall and by type of practice (primary vs. specialty, pediatric vs. adult). In early 2018, health system leaders qualitatively described factors impacting HCT process implementation.

Results: Overall, baseline CA scores averaged 10.7, and increased to 17.9 after 12-18 months. Within each clinical setting, scores increased from: 10.8 to 16.5 among 12 primary care sites, 12.8 to 17.1 among 43 specialty sites, 12.4 to 17 among 47 pediatric sites, and 12 to 16.9 among 8 adult sites. All changes reached significance (p < 0.05). Qualitative feedback offered valuable feedback about motivators, facilitators and barriers to HCT process improvement.

Conclusions: Participating systems made substantial progress in implementing a structured HCT process consistent with clinical recommendations using the Six Core Elements.

Practice implications: The diverse perspectives of participating health systems provide a model for creating sustainable HCT process improvements.

Keywords: Adolescent and young adult; Collaborative care; Health care transition; Quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Transition to Adult Care / organization & administration*
  • United States