Children who have chronic/long-term illnesses or severe disabilities have complex needs that can make the healthcare system difficult to navigate. As doctors are traditionally trained to focus only on the medical situation, they may be unaware of the day-to-day issues in the lives of families with children who have significant needs. In 1994, parents in New York state developed Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care) as a family-centered and community-based pediatric training program designed to increase doctors’ awareness and understanding of the complex issues associated with caring for medically involved children.
Expand the program for pediatric and nursing residents to spend time with families in their homes, schools, and community activities to gain first-hand experience on issues parents face in caring for a child with a disability or chronic illness.
This project was intended to help future doctors and nurses understand the complex issues involved in caring for children with chronic illnesses or developmental disabilities (DD). Driscoll Children’s Hospital planned to expand the scope of an ongoing Project DOCC program to improve training for pediatric and nursing residents. As part of Project DOCC, residents would spend time with families in their homes, schools, and community activities to gain first-hand experience on issues parents face in caring for a child with DD or chronic illness. The Driscoll Children’s Hospital also intended to develop a model curriculum for submission to the national Project DOCC, encouraging the curriculum’s adoption as a requirement for pediatric residency programs.