In the developed world, monitoring of linear growth is a well-established part of pediatric health care.
"Although monitoring aims to support early diagnosis and timely treatment of disorders affecting growth, such disorders are often diagnosed late," write Ulla Sankilampi, M.D., Ph.D., of Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland, and colleagues.
As reported in a Research Letter, the authors compared the effectiveness of a novel computerized and automated growth monitoring (AGM) strategy integrated into an electronic health record (EHR) system in the primary care setting to standard growth monitoring (SGM) in 2008-2009. The preceding 3 years (2005-2008) were used as a comparator. Automated growth monitoring included analysis of growth data and referral of abnormal data for review, in addition to SGM.
"In this population-based cohort study, we showed that screening of growth disorders using algorithms integrated into an EHR system was associated with a higher rate of detection and referral to specialist care," the authors write. "Whether the results are generalizable to other countries remains to be determined."