The goal of the conference is stimulate new and different approaches to the provision of medical care to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), across the lifespan. We expect that, over time, better integration of care will reduce costs, improve treatment outcomes, and improve the quality of life for people with ASD. This conference invites discourse on ways to test these presumptions. The overall objective of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary discussion of ways enhance integrated health care services for people with ASD. According to the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999, people with ASD are a priority population due to their special health care problems and their developmental disability. Combine these special needs with the population-based risks for common disorders such as cardiac and lung diseases and cancer and the result is a patient population that requires carefully planned primary and acute medical services and management of poly pharmacy. Problems in the delivery of care are especially pronounced when patients with ASD transition from one setting to another, such as from behavioral health to medical health care, or pediatric to adult health care. These problems may be especially conspicuous in acute care settings when the need for treatment is urgent. Care for this group should incorporate understanding of core characteristics and associated features with prescribed medical care. One premise of this conference is that if we bring together health care providers to learn about and discuss medical care for people with ASD, they will think creatively about adapting care to the special needs of this group of patients. The targeted attendees are therefore administrators, nurses, managers, and educators in acute care settings who orchestrate and manage the delivery of comprehensive care and are in positions to influence policy development and change within institutions. In this forum attendees will discussion a research agenda to evaluate the outcomes of integrated care and proposed changes to health delivery policies. Through discussion, critique and the exchange of ideas and participants and panelists will a) define and describe the ideal environmental, behavioral, and/or individual supports during the provision of medical care to people with ASD;b) identify barriers to the delivery of integrated care in: emergency departments and in-patient acute care settings;c) propose technology or information system improvements to eliminate the barriers to inter-professional communication, across acute care settings;and d) define measures to demonstrate effectiveness of policies to improve treatment outcomes and efficiency of care. We will also describe how participants integrate of program content with clinical practice after attending the conference. The conference will be held November 8, 2014 in Philadelphia on the campus of Drexel University. We anticipate attendance of 120 and will have web-based video conferencing capability for up to an additional 100.
According to the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999, people with autism spectrum disorder are a priority population due to their special health care problems and their developmental disability. This conference will generate the exchange of ideas among clinicians, researchers, and members of the community on how to best provide effective, safe, coordinated, and timely care to patients who require acute health services and who also have autism spectrum disorder.