Building Awareness in Your Site
Adults with developmental disabilities (DD) likely make up a small percentage of patients within your site. One thing we learned is that, as a cohort, they can often be missed or overlooked among other patient populations that have greater prevalence or visibility (i.e., people with diabetes, the elderly).
Before a health check program is put in place, take a pulse of the awareness and receptivity among the team toward a health check initiative for patients with DD.
Click the links below for several resources to help you get started in assessing readiness, building awareness, and fostering interest within your site.
One of the recommendations from the Consensus Guidelines (2011) is interdisciplinary care. If you work in a team-based setting, the one-pager provides an example of the various ways different disciplines and team members can participate in a health check program. Because every practice is unique in staffing, culture, and resources, we suggest tailoring this description to be reflective of your site's capacities.
This survey includes questions about perceived comfort, skills, and attitudes, as well as knowledge in regards to health issues of adults with DD, and existing resources. In addition to engaging staff, this could act as a baseline measure to see if there is interest in capturing pre and post data at your site. It could also be used to help raise awareness or provide data for Quality Improvement purposes.
This campaign was created for the H-CARDD project and features individuals with DD from Ontario describing their experiences and aspirations for health care. You can use these posters as a series or pick the ones that feel most compelling. They can be hung in the clinic, in the staff bathroom, or used in presentations. You can also invite patients in your practices to create their own "I am" posters.
To keep your improvement initative visible, we suggest consistent communications to your colleagues. These can be in the form of bullets of information or a screenshot of any of the posters mentioned above. Examples are provided here for you.
This document includes an example of a Quality Improvement Plan worksheet, based on the Health Quality Ontario template for implementing a program of annual health checks for adults with developmental disabilities.