Brachial plexus birth injuries: community provider learning modules
Maynard, Margaret C.
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Data in the literature consistently shows most of specialty care is provided at large metropolitan, academic medical centers where there is a great enough volume of patients to support specialty providers (The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2016). America occupies over 3.8 million square miles with 72% of the country classified as rural territory by the Department of Agriculture in 2017 with 20% of Americans living where healthcare provider shortages exist (Nationmaster, 2017). Poor maternal health combined with barriers in accessing quality prenatal care, place infants at greater risk for sustaining a Brachial Plexus Birth Injury (BPBI) during the delivery process. BPBI has an incidence of 1/1000 births with the potential for nerve damage to be permanent in 10-18% of cases (Chauhan, S. et al., 2014; Frade et al., 2019). Restriction on the use of telehealth results in reduced access to specialty care. To mitigate the inequities in healthcare, this author applied key concepts found in the literature on effective educational collaborations between specialty providers and community providers to develop an online educational series (Ashburner et al., 2016; Bywood et al., 2013; Careau et al., 2008; Day et al., 2012; González-Espada et al., 2009; Mahnke et al., 2011; Shivji et al., 2011; Ray et al., 2015), for community occupational and physical therapists in gaining important knowledge and competence for caring for children with BPBI in their own communities. This program integrates the positive benefits of building community networks for formal and informal mentoring to decrease provider isolation, to improve efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare for children with BPBIs in rural areas.
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