The Four Pods of Pediatric Special Care

Pediatric special care is a healthcare plan, resources and support for patients who are between the ages 0-30. These resources are focused on children with special needs.

What is Pediatric Special Care?

Pediatric special care differs from traditional pediatric healthcare because there are children involved with very diverse, complex and specific needs that for many of them will follow them throughout the course of their life. The type of special care a child receives depends on the specific pediatric diagnosis. This diagnosis can range from childhood leukemia to autism to Down Syndrome and everything inbetween. Care for diagnosis ranges from meal plans to physical therapy to psychologist. It’s not uncommon for a special needs child to have 7 different doctors and medical professionals they are seeing. Juggling all these doctors and medical professionals as a parent and caregiver I can assure you is an overwhelming task.

A parent will need access to a provider(s) outside of his/her child’s general and primary care pediatrician. CareStarter provides parents and caregivers access to provider resources allowing them to search, evaluate and locate provider support that suits their special care needs.

The resources we provide help put a caregiver’s mind at ease allowing them to help focus their energies on taking care of their family and going about their daily activities. Stress decreases as caregivers have access to resources especially during these critical transition periods allowing them to better support and care for their child.


Four Pods of Pediatric Special Care

In pediatric care that means that a patient is a child, teen, or young adult. They, just like their needs are growing, changing and evolving meaning that their care, resources and support are a moving target. The resources your child needs at three, are different when they are 6, 12, and 16. Depending on the patient diagnosis, the length of care and need for resources may extend 30+ years. The care your child receives throughout the course of pediatric care happens in distinct pods or segments of care that you may need for your child:

  • Early Childhood 0-3

  • Education 4-12

  • Transition 13-21

  • Independent Living 22-30+

When you look at the 4 pods of special care graphic (pictured above) you will see that there are persistent delays in care that are experienced by the patient as well as extreme points of crisis for those who are caring for them.

These cliff and crisis points are gray spaces. They are transition points where a patient’s medical needs are shifting. It’s at these transition points where change is happening. It is also during these transition points where families and patients need more support than ever. They experience changes in a routine, are introduced to new medical professionals or the types of care and frequency are new and different which causes a great deal of stress and uncertainty.

CareStarter works to help anticipate these cliffs and crisis through providing resources, support and most importantly by providing information. We aid in those pediatric care transitions and are focused on being a fluid source of information for patients as well as providers during transition. Our goal is to provide resources focused on a pediatric patient's care transition points supporting the care, efforts and resources of the patient’s team of medical professionals.

It is this constant need for resources for families that inspired us to build the CareStarter platform. Our mission is to assist caregivers not just to find and access one resource but many resources in these six major healthcare categories over time.

  • Nutrition

  • Therapy

  • Family

  • Medical

  • Recreation

  • Education

Defining 360 Degrees of Care

We call this process 360 degrees of care. I’ll be talking more about how 360 degrees of care in my next blog post and how it differentiates than in the traditional population health sense. Three hundred sixty degrees of care is a patient-focused philosophy where medical experts who support the pediatric special care of a child provide resources, support and information not just the patient but for their family and caregivers. A commitment to three hundred and sixty degrees of care enhances the patient’s care through better relationships and information between patient and medical professional as well as between medical professional and medical professional.

We want families that access our platform to increase the amount of providers they access which we know will in turn lower caregiver stress while delivering a better outcome to the loved one they are caring for. This is only possible because we have been able to define pediatric special care and because we recognize that patients are people who have families and we have to help everyone access care.

Learn more about CareStarter's patient focused philosophy by clicking here.