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Network of Learning for Pediatric Palliative Care: A Pilot Project

In the past ten years, pediatric palliative care has evolved. Notre Dame Pedi Pals is a new venture providing pediatric palliative care for Notre Dame Hospice. Presently in Massachusetts an infant dies daily devastating the family (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2013). Collaboration and coordination of care is a common concern for these families who are difficult to identify and study, so that the measure of the effects of this care is challenging. Coordination and assistance with this aspect of care is viewed positively by parents of a similar group of children suffering from major chronic, life-altering diseases (Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, 2007). The purpose of the pilot is to study the effects of an electronic medium in facilitating collaboration among Massachusetts Pediatric Palliative Care Program professionals. Through a common, electronic "Network of Learning" platform, this Capstone Pilot promoted a learning venue with these collaborative activities: weekly discussion questions, monthly journal club, and sharing of stories. Invitations were sent to all coordinators involved in the Massachusetts Pediatric Palliative Care Network, all primary care providers, and referral specialists to this secure, free, and electronic platform with a n=6. Present collaborative communication practices using Feudtner's (2007) five points of collaborative communication were measured pre-pilot and post-pilot at Notre Dame Pedi Pals to measure the effects of the pilot participation on collaborative communication. Modified Index of Interdisciplinary Collaboration scores were tabulated pre- and post-pilot to evaluate change from pilot participation. At the conclusion of the pilot, formal evaluation occurred and was inconclusive. Keywords: collaboration, Pediatric Palliative Care, Network of Learning