A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guides health care providers on developing team-based care for pediatric patients and their families. The health care needs of children change over time, and team-based care encourages families to work with their health care providers to develop shared goals that meet the needs of the whole child.
In the statement appearing in the August 2017 issue of Pediatrics, "Guiding Principles for Team-Based Pediatric Care," published online July 24, the AAP emphasizes that the core idea of team-based care is making the child and family the center of all interactions.
For some children, the team may consist of simply the primary care physician, the child, and family. For others, especially children with complex medical needs, the team may include a wide variety of participants, such as medical and surgical subspecialists, nurses, teachers, child care providers, and community partners.
The AAP recommends that pediatricians are the ideal leaders of team-based care for children. As children grow and develop, their needs change and the team members and pediatric leadership should change accordingly, remembering to keep the child and family at the center of the team. The pediatric provider can lead a team that includes all necessary stakeholders to identify and plan the best strategies to meet those shared goals.