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Children's National and GetWellNetwork design digital pathway for autism family support and education

Digital education and condition-management tool allows parents to navigate a new diagnosis and providers to track progress May 08, 2018

WASHINGTON–GetWellNetwork®, the Precision Engagement™ health care company, and Children’s National Health System have started a strategic partnership to develop a suite of innovative digital tools for families facing a new diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Leveraging the GetWell Go mobile care management platform and design, the digital autism toolkit will be packed with prescribable health education and condition-management tools developed by the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National.

“Our families have told us that the days and weeks after a new diagnosis can be one of the most challenging and overwhelming times they’ve ever experienced,” says Kathleen Chavanu Gorman, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., Executive Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Operating Officer at Children’s National Health System. “I’m proud of this partnership’s work to make these transitions easier on the child, parents and caregivers. This is a great example of how we keep children and families as the focus of everything we do here and how we look to partner with others like GetWellNetwork who share our dedication to making life easier for our patients.”

The GetWell Go Pathways tool will be “prescribed” to families by autism specialists during routine appointments at Children’s National, with a focus on families with a new or recent autism diagnosis. Providers will be able to tailor the content for each family by selecting relevant “bundles” of information that are applicable to a child’s unique challenges.

“With one in six U.S. children diagnosed with a developmental challenge like ASD, knowledge and preparation are key. Well-informed parents and caregivers are their child’s best advocates,” said Lauren Kenworthy, Ph.D., director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National. “We are so excited to play a role in creating a resource for parents that will give them instant access to understandable information on autism, and allow them to share it with family members, caregivers, teachers, and everyone else with a role in caring for the child.”

The autism tool kit offers:

Digital milestone checklists to facilitate more engaged and efficient developmental surveillance about language, social, and motor development that will improve conversations between care provider and family;

Guides and primers that explain how to prepare for and what to expect from formal evaluations, exams and tests, and detail the common steps and interventions.

“We are excited and proud to partner with the leaders at Children’s to provide new age resources to patients and families in need,” said Michael O’Neil, founder and CEO of GetWellNetwork. “Our Patient Pathways for GetWell Go support a number of chronic and specialty care conditions on a platform that is usable worldwide. We are confident this collaboration with Children’s National will have a profound impact on families and children diagnosed with ASD.”

The GetWell Go autism tool kit will also provide:

  • parenting strategies to address common challenges
  • information about navigating school programs and services
  • daily trackers and logs record progress toward therapeutic goals and development milestones
  • community resources that will connect parents to a network of families and organizations that provide social and emotional support
  • legal and financial planning tools provide guidance on preparing for the future

GetWell Go’s autism toolkit launches a pilot this summer at Children’s National Health System. A national roll-out is expected later this fall, with further expansions to international markets in 2019.

Future phases will explore integrating evidence-based screening tools and the development of a platform that connects communities — schools, family members or anyone who is a part of the child’s life — to evidence-based resources about autism.

Media Contact: Jennifer Stinebiser |  703-568-8825 (mobile) | 202-476-4500(office)

About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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