Case conferencing in paediatric rehabilitation

A case conference is a formal, planned meeting of health clinicians actively involved in a patient’s rehabilitation program.

Who is involved in a paediatric rehabilitation case conference?

The meeting is multidisciplinary, and whilst not all team members are required to attend, it is expected that a representative from each discipline will be in attendance. For example, the nurse unit manager may represent the ward nursing team. Unlike other specialties, a paediatric rehabilitation case conference is only for clinicians. The patient and/or their family are normally updated afterwards during a ward round or planned family meeting.

Format of a case conference

A structured format is used during the case conference to review the patient’s current goals and collaboratively discuss goal attainment and progression. The case conference template can be used to structure the meeting. It provides an opportunity to update goals and plan for discharge, as well as flag any barriers to goal attainment or discharge plans.

Case conferences can be conducted by the team face-to-face, by phone or by video conference, or through a combination of these. The initial case conference may take up to 30 minutes to complete, however as the team gets to know the patient and their goals, it is likely the conference can be completed in 15-20 minutes.

Frequency of a paediatric rehabilitation case conference

When a child or young person is receiving inpatient rehabilitation, they may have rapid change of their functional skills and therefore a case conference should be conducted each week (minimum standard 1.5). Regular review of progress allows for the team to recognise when a plateau of skill attainment may have occurred, and goals or discharge plans need to be altered or adjusted accordingly.

Collaboration with the patient and their family

It is important that discussions from the case conference are documented in the patient medical record as well as fed back to the patient and their family. The patient and/or their family are not involved in case conference, and any changes to goals should be completed in collaboration with the patient and/or family, ensuring that goals for rehabilitation remain patient-focused and appropriate. A separate family meeting should be established if required, particularly if any new goal setting is required.

Further information

Patient-centred goal setting – Clinical Excellence Queensland

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