Care Coordination Programs for Infants With Complex Conditions: A Systematic Review

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CONTEXT: Care coordination programs are becoming more widely available for children with complex conditions, yet we lack an understanding of programs available to infants and their benefits.

OBJECTIVE: To summarize characteristics and outcomes associated with care coordination programs for infants with complex conditions.

DATA SOURCES: Electronic search of Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Web of Science databases for articles published from 2010 to 2021.

STUDY SELECTION: Inclusion criteria consisted of (1) peer-reviewed manuscripts about a care coordination program, (2) infants (birth to 1 year) with complex medical conditions, (3) and reported at least 1 infant, parent, or healthcare utilization outcome.

DATA EXTRACTION: Data were extracted on program characteristics and outcomes (eg, infant, parent, and healthcare utilization and cost). Results were summarized by program characteristics and outcomes.

RESULTS: The search returned 3189 studies. Twelve unique care coordination programs were identified from 17 studies in the final sample. Seven programs were hospital-based and 5 were outpatient-based. Most programs reported improvements with satisfaction with care, increased interactions with healthcare teams, reductions in infant mortality, and in health service use. A few programs reported increased costs related to staffing.

LIMITATIONS: Few care coordination programs were identified specifically for infants and thus studies that did not report age categories (ie, infants) may not have been identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Care coordination programs demonstrate cost reductions for health systems, families, and insurers and improvement in quality of care. Efforts to increase the uptake and sustain these beneficial programs need further exploration.

Medical Subject Headings

Child; Infant; Humans; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Hospitals

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ePub ahead of print