There are many factors to consider when choosing a team of care providers.

Individual Team Member Qualifications

All professionals on a team should be fully trained in their specialty areas and appropriately certified and licensed. This is critical since it may impact insurance coverage, as well as the quality of care delivered.

Team Experience

Working with an ACPA Approved Team ensures that care providers on a team will have demonstrated experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients with cleft or craniofacial conditions. When selecting a team, ask how often the team meets and about how many patients are seen on each team clinic day to get an idea of how frequently and extensively these providers are involved in cleft and craniofacial treatment. You can learn more about a team by asking how long this group of professionals has been working together or about the experience of individual professionals, particularly those who will provide key treatment in your current and upcoming stages of care.

Team Location

You may consider traveling some distance to access an ACPA Approved Team or other qualified professionals. The team will likely request regular visits throughout a child’s growing years. After infant surgeries are complete, travel to a team may be limited to once a year or may be more frequent depending on treatment needs. Routine treatment such as general dental care, orthodontics, speech therapy and pediatric care can usually be provided by professionals in your local community who can maintain regular contact with professionals on the team.

Team and Member Affiliation

ACPA strongly encourages patients and families to consider ACPA Approved Teams first when seeking treatment for cleft and craniofacial conditions. When considering a team, ask if they are approved by ACPA and how many team members are also members of ACPA. Staying up to date on recent developments in the field is one sign of a conscientious and engaged healthcare professional. Also, consider whether the team has any relationship to an established hospital or to a medical school or university. Team access to facilities for diagnostic studies and treatment may be greater when they are affiliated with a large institution.

Team Communication

Cleft or craniofacial treatment spans from birth through adulthood. Make sure that your communication with the team is comfortable and clear. Treatment recommendations should be communicated to the family in writing as well as in face-to-face discussion. Assessments and recommendations should be shared in an understandable and approachable way. The patient and family should feel involved in making decisions about treatment options based on professional recommendations. The team should assist families in locating support groups or other helpful resources not provided by the team itself.

For more information about cleft and craniofacial teams, please Contact Us.