The University of Oklahoma Health Science Center has a unique team of specialists available to evaluate, diagnose and treat individuals with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial anomalies. This team is based out of the John W. Keys Speech and Hearing Center, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders College of Allied Health. It has been in operation since 1959! The team meets one time every month and usually evaluates eight to ten patients during the half day appointment. During the appointment the patient will be evaluated in regards to general health, psychological needs, hearing and ear function, speech and feeding, facial form, palatal function, dental needs, orthodontic and surgical needs.
Approximately two weeks after the appointment you will receive a written record of the evaluation and recommendations regarding needs to be accomplished over the next six to twelve months. This report is also sent to any other health care professional that you choose. The patient is automatically recalled to the team at the appropriate time.
We will gladly work with your current group of specialists and we do not ask that you are treated by the members of the team. If you need referrals to a certain specialty we have built a referral network to support your needs. Usually we can find doctors in any part of Oklahoma with whom to work!
If you moved to another state and did not have a team with centralized records, you would need to visit all of the different doctors you are working with and obtain their records. This can be a very time consuming affair! With a team, you can make one easy call and the records can be sent to you or your new doctors. The team centralizes all annual team reports, photographs, radiographs, height and weight/growth charts and surgical records.
If the above reasons are not enough, you need to know that team care for cleft lip and palate/craniofacial patients is the standard of care set down by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. Many patients in Oklahoma have had care done outside of a team. This approach is acceptable if the parents and their professionals are aware of what other services are available from the other professions. If not , there may detrimental delays in certain treatments and surgeries. Remember the old adage, "two heads are better than one," well, in this case, ten heads get together to give you or your child the best possible recommendations.
There is strength in numbers. This is especially true in today's managed care atmosphere. Frequently, recommended treatments may be delayed by health care management, with a report from an interdisciplinary group, you have better documentation and backing by the team to get you through the red tape.