The running of SchoolKit Clinics is guided by a set of six foundation principles. These principles address the expectations and obligations of the many different parties involved. It is essential to the success of SchoolKit Clinics that all professional personnel involved fully understand the foundation principles and are committed to them.
Foundation Principle #4 – Data and Delivery
With parental permission, information gathered and recorded in SchoolKit Clinics is shared openly and transparently between all parties. Communication continues between parties before and after SchoolKit Clinics to coordinate the implementation of agreed strategies and monitor their impact.
To ensure optimal, best-quality care for a child or young person with an intellectual disability, good communication and the proactive coordination of multiple services (from different sectors) are required beyond the traditional medical approach of face-to-face appointments. SchoolKit Clinics achieve this by placing side by side at all meetings the professionals who may provide a valuable contribution in supporting a child or young person.
In regional and remote areas, where access to specialists for diagnosis and assessment can be limited, alternative methods of communication might be used to involve specialists in clinics and to provide advice (e.g. telehealth, videoconference).
Open Communication Channels
Ongoing communication occurs directly between various participants both before and after clinic meetings. This is particularly necessary for managing the delivery of services: ensuring follow-up on agreed actions, monitoring progress on the co-ordination of agreed strategies, and establishing what impact those strategies might be having for the child or young person and their family – their success or failure.
These communications might be conducted over the phone or via email, rather than requiring face-to-face meetings separate to the clinics. Communications are open and direct and involve sharing of whatever information may be relevant to the issue being discussed, including information that has come to hand since the last clinic.
Shared Access to Consistent Data and Documentation
With parental permission, reports or minutes generated from the clinic meeting are circulated transparently to all participants. There is a need for sharing of collected data and records between services, for example between health and education professionals, or from the hospital to the general practitioner or community health worker.
All parties benefit from having access to as much relevant information as possible about the particular circumstances of the young person and their family. This particularly applies to formal assessments, as any developmental and cognitive or functional assessments take considerable resources; if they are not shared they may need to be duplicated, which is inconvenient and wasteful.
Within the health service team there needs to be a data management system put in place to ensure that any communications or progress notes are accessible to the multidisciplinary team, with appropriate measures in place to protect sensitive information. This data management system also needs to be able to store and support evaluation of various interventions and projects.