Families of babies affected by Zika virus (Zika) may be overwhelmed, worried, and unsure of next steps in caring for their baby. You may not know what services your child needs or where to find the right medical care. You may have also heard unfamiliar terms used in the news, from friends, or on social media. You’ll need to work with your baby’s doctors and healthcare providers to find the right care for your baby.
Babies born with Zika may need frequent visits to many different healthcare providers. You may find it helpful for your baby to have a medical home. Your baby’s pediatrician or other primary care provider will coordinate all the medical care your baby needs and keep track of all the medical records. Having one doctor or healthcare provider in charge of your baby’s care helps make sure your child gets the tests and procedures that are needed, and helps make sure that care is coordinated.
A medical home for your child
A medical home is not an actual building. It is a way that you, your baby’s doctors and other healthcare providers all work together in a partnership. The medical home provides family-centered, coordinated care by communicating with you and all your baby’s healthcare providers.
Coordinated care is the process of ensuring all the different healthcare providers and healthcare facilities communicate about medical care. Each healthcare provider that you see may specialize in a different kind of care. It’s important that these specialists communicate with each other and work together to provide the best care for you, your baby and your family.
The coordinated care center
A coordinated care center is a medical facility that has a team of experts trained in all the different types of medical care you or your baby might need. Medical care includes experts who may be doctors, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, pharmacists, or other healthcare professionals.
Coordinated care centers may share medical records electronically so that every specialist has access to all the test results and treatment plans for you and your baby, as well as medical records. Sharing medical records will help ensure that all healthcare professionals are aware of how you and your baby are doing.
The care coordinator
A special care coordinator may be assigned to you to assist your healthcare provider to keep track of all the care you receive. This person might be a social worker, nurse, or other healthcare professional. A care coordinator can help you:
- Schedule appointments
- Guide you through the healthcare system
- Communicate with you about you and your baby’s care
Your care coordinator can also help you with the non-medical aspects of your child’s care like transportation needs and other services.
Materials and Resources
Below is additional information.
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- Patient information about congenital Zika infection
- For Parents: Roadmap of care
- Zika testing
- American Academy of Pediatrics
Zika virus: What parents need to know
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Families of newborns affected by Zika
- Care for babies with Congenital Zika Syndrome
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