A computerized clinical decision support system is helping parents answer questions related to developmental milestones in their children, a new study from Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute researchers reveals.
The system, which they developed to automate pediatric care guidelines, significantly increased the number of children screened for developmental delay at 9, 18 and 30 months of age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
AdvertisementThe physician decision support system also significantly improved developmental delay surveillance by eliciting concerns from parents at other visits to the pediatrician. It also increased the number of children who ultimately were diagnosed as having developmental delay and who were referred for timely services at an earlier age.
The study appears in the September 2014 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.
The Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation system, known as CHICA, helps pediatricians comply with clinical guidelines for their patients in the short time allotted for preventive care. CHICA prioritizes (from among the hundreds of questions programmed into CHICA) the 20 most important questions for a specific patient based on the child's age, medical history and outcomes of past appointments. Originally paper-based, and now presented to parents on tablet computers, the English- or Spanish-language questionnaire is completed in the waiting room before seeing the physician.
Responses to the questions are stored in the child's electronic health record. A tailored worksheet containing up to six alerts for the physician is generated for use during the visit. By personalizing and automating the patient screening process and then alerting the physician to the results, CHICA prompts the pediatrician to follow up in needed areas.