An Individualized Health Plan (IHP or sometimes Individualized Health Care Plan, IHCP) is a personalized healthcare roadmap. It’s tailored to address a child’s specific medical needs, goals, and strategies for better health management. A child with Type 1 Diabetes should have an IHP in place at their school so that nurses and other caretakers have a clear sense of expectations for the child’s care. For example, is the child able to manage their diabetes entirely on their own, or do they need adult supervision. What if, instead, they need full-time adult supervision? An IHP answers these questions and more.
Developed collaboratively with parents, school nurses, caregivers, and healthcare providers, an IHP empowers families to play an active role in their child’s healthcare decisions and fosters open communication with the healthcare team. You create an IHP by taking information from a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP, the “doctors orders”) that has been provided by the student’s physician. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Individualized Health Plans for Type 1 Diabetics. We’ll explore their significance, key components, and the benefits they offer in moving towards a safe and healthy future.
Benefits of Having an Individualized Health Plan
Having an IHP/IHCP for your child offers several key benefits:
- Personalized Care. An IHP ensures that your child’s unique medical needs and challenges are addressed while they’re away from home at school.
- Comprehensive Management. An IHP covers all aspects of your child’s health, including medical history, treatment plans, medication details, and preventive measures, ensuring holistic care.
- Better Health Outcomes. Through consistent tracking and updates, an IHP can lead to improved health outcomes, helping your child achieve tighter glucose control more effectively.
- Emergency Preparedness. In case of emergencies, an IHP provides quick access to crucial medical information and emergency contacts. Typically, the IHP will include contact information for the parents/guardians, the endocrinologist office, and anyone else involved in care for the child.
Overall, having an IHP in place for your child empowers you as a parent or caregiver to play a proactive role in managing their health and ensures that their medical needs are met with personalized care and attention.
If relying on someone else to relay information about your child’s health throughout the day makes you uncomfortable, that’s completely understandable. School nurses are often extremely busy with multiple children who have differing medical needs to consider. Gluroo is a powerful app that allows for remote monitoring and collaboration among caregivers, helping with this exact situation. With Gluroo you can see your child’s BGL, insulin on board, and carbs on board at all times. This gives you peace of mind while they’re away at school. You can download Gluroo for free today on both Android and iOS.
Creating an Individualized Health Plan
The easiest way to create an IHP/IHCP is to find a template online and customize it for your particular needs. Remember that you should create it as a collaboration among the school nurses, the student and their parents/guardians, and the healthcare provider. Here are some great resources you can use to get familiar with IHPs and how to build one for your child:
- JDRF.org has a great powerpoint on all things related to school and Type 1 Diabetes. Learn about the differences and similarities between a Diabetes Medical Management Plan, an IHP, and a Section 504 Plan.
- The ADA includes templates for DMMP and Section 504 Plans as well.
- New Jersey Sample DMMP and IHP.
- Houston ISD’s “Diabetes IHP Template”.
Ask your school or your school district if they have a template specific to them that they’d like to use as a starting point.
In general, an IHP usually includes the following sections:
- Medical History. A detailed overview of the individual’s medical conditions, previous treatments, and relevant health information.
- Emergency Action Plan. Specific steps or procedures to follow when treating hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. This should be a straightforward, standardized set of emergency procedures that the school nurse use.
- Notification Criteria. Details when to notify the parents/guardians of the child. For example, some parents may want to be alerted if their child remains hypoglycemic 15 minutes after the first treatment. Other parents prefer that their child not be interrupted during the day. In that instance, they may only want to be notified in the case of an emergency like loss of consciousness.
- Healthcare Providers and Support Network. Identification of key healthcare professionals involved in the individual’s care, along with other individuals or organizations providing support.
- Emergency Contact Information. Contact details of family members, caregivers, or friends who can be reached in case of emergencies.
- Medication List: A comprehensive list of all prescribed medications, including dosages and schedules.
In conclusion, Individualized Health Plans (IHPs) are indispensable documents to have in place for your child with Type 1 Diabetes, offering personalized and comprehensive strategies for managing their unique medical needs. By fostering communication, empowerment, and collaboration among patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, IHPs pave the way for better health outcomes and improved quality of life.