Grant Application

Rachel Margolies, MSW, LCSW, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Proposed Innovation

Children who undergo a kidney transplant must follow a complex medication regimen to stay healthy after surgery. Failure to take antirejection medicine at precise times puts them at risk of organ rejection and possible kidney failure.

But families often struggle to keep up with the treatment plan. Younger children must rely on their parents, who may be distracted by hectic schedules and the care needs of their other children. Adolescents are especially at risk because of social activities and peer pressure. This project aims to empower families by providing them with education and tools designed to help incorporate their new regimen into their lives.

Improvements in Action

Each family will be given a three-times-a-day weekly pill organizer, portable daily pill container, and a magnetic whiteboard with dry erase markers. Along with these tools and a phone app providing medication alerts, multidisciplinary team members will work closely with individual families to educate them about their medicines, schedules, and how to use all the tools.

Intended Outcomes

Supplying all these tools will help families incorporate the medicine regimen into their daily lives. It also will help children take ownership of their care over time as they age. Better adherence will help prevent organ rejection and graft failure, leading to reduced complications and better patient outcomes.