Beacon Program: What To Expect
When families enter the Beacon Program they can expect to meet a health care team that will be actively involved in their care moving forward. This includes having a care plan built specifically for your child, access to a Beacon provider 24/7, inpatient and outpatient care, and integrated care and support for siblings and families.
Building a care plan together
Your first visit to the Beacon Program begins with a complete Health and Services evaluation at the Beacon Clinic. This evaluation includes your child's primary care provider and the entire care team. This time together allows the primary care provider, dietitian, pharmacist, clinical services coordinator and social worker to understand your child's diagnoses and family needs at a deep level.
After this meeting, you will receive a comprehensive care plan that will include:
Current medication lists
Information to share with schools and caregivers about medications, feedings, therapy needs and schedules
Information about adverse reactions to food or medications
List of your child's doctors, specialists and other health care providers along with their contact information
Medical equipment and supply contacts
Questions to ask providers
Summary of care plan
Tips for parents
Approximately six months after your initial visit, the Beacon team will meet with you again for your child's well-child check-up to assess growth and development, perform routine screenings, and give vaccines when needed. Your family will check in with your team about your child's progress, have your questions answerd, and modify any treatment plans, as needed
At any time a need arises in between your visits to the clinic, you can contact the Beacon Clinic by phone or portal message.
A Beacon Clinic provider is always on call after business hours so that families in the Beacon Program have access to a Children's Mercy Beacon team member 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because the team knows each child and family, the team member on call can address your child's unique needs and evaluate if your child can adjust care at home or if your child needs to seek more urgent care at an emergency department. We have found that this approach helps families manage their children's needs at home and reduces the number of visits to the emergency department and even hospital admissions.
The Beacon Program has an established Beacon Clinic at Children’s Mercy Broadway with a couple providers occasionally seeing patients at Children’s Mercy Kansas. Scheduled appointments (for Health and Service evaluations, well-child checks and follow-ups) as well as same-day ill appointments are available to established families.
Each child’s care team includes a nurse practitioner. If your child is admitted to Children's Mercy or another hospital for an inpatient stay, the nurse practitioner will speak with the inpatient team and communicate back with your primary care provider. The nurse practitioner will follow your child’s hospital course and will help arrange follow-up after discharge.
The health of one child in your family impacts your other children as well. Children’s Mercy wants to provide your family the best access to medical resources for all your children. That is why the providers in the Beacon Program also care for siblings, whether they have have mild complexities or only require routine pediatric care. Our intent is to make it easier for your family to get the best medical care for all your children, no matter what their needs might be.
Social workers on our Beacon team are well connected with community resources. These resources are offered to families based on which resources could offer benefit to the child and family.
The Beacon Program is committed to helping our patients transition care to adult providers as seamlessly as possible. The first steps of transitioning begin when your child is around 12 years old. For some families, this means helping youth and young adults learn how to manage their own health care and successfully move to an adult provider before their 22nd birthday. For other families, this means helping the parents and guardians of youth and young adults learn how to manage their child’s health care and successfully move to to an adult provider before their child’s 22nd birthday.
For all Children's Mercy patients, we start having conversations about transitioning to adult care at age 12 years as part of their well-child checks. For young people in the Beacon program, we will develop a transition strategy with each of their providers and specialists that is tailored to their unique needs and goals.
We occasionally accept referrals to the Beacon program for young adults 18 years and older. However, because we have the goal to seamlessly transition to adult care providers by the age of 22 years, we generally only accept these referrals if there are extenuating circumstances.
Information on Navigating Forms
A nurse with the Beacon Program at Children's Mercy helps answer commonly asked questions about required paperwork and forms for care.
Transitioning to Adult Care
The team with the Beacon Program describe the program designed to help kids transition to adult care.