Children with intellectual disability are susceptible to poor experiences of care and treatment outcomes, and this may compound existing health inequities. Evidence to date indicates three priority areas that must be addressed in order to reduce these inequities in the safety and quality of care for children with intellectual disability. Firstly, we need reliable methods to identify children with intellectual disability so that healthcare organizations understand their needs. Secondly, we need to develop quality metrics that can assess care quality and unwarranted care variation for children with intellectual disability in hospital. Finally, for a comprehensive understanding of the safety and quality of care for these children, and how to improve, it is critical that healthcare organizations partner with parents/carers and enable children with intellectual disability to voice their experiences of care. Children with intellectual disability have higher healthcare utilization than their peers; yet, their voice is rarely sought to optimize the safety and quality of their healthcare experience. Patient experience narratives enhance our understanding of the genesis of adverse events. By addressing these priorities, children with intellectual disability will be identified, and health services will measure and understand the problematic and beneficial variations in care delivery and can then effectively partner with children and their parents/carers to address the inequities in care quality and create safer healthcare.
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- health services research
- intellectual disability