UK Pediatrics Recognized as Model in Early Childhood Screenings

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognized UK HealthCare's General Pediatric Clinic as a model in its implementation of early childhood screenings.

By integrating a series of standardized screenings into a child's visit, including developmental surveillance, maternal depression screenings, social determinants and family strengths, doctors, nurses and staff are able to get a more complete assessment of a child's health beyond his or her physical well-being. All pediatric providers complete the same screenings for all patients.

"What made us look at how we're doing these screenings is the fact that we felt like weren't consistent from patient to patient, and provider to provider," said Dr. Donna Grigsby, medical director of the UK pediatric primary care clinics.

The AAP provides practices with resources for communicating with families, office workflow, staff wellness, and team-based care to ensure consistency and quality of care in clinical settings.

"With this system in place, we actually have information when we walk into the room so that we can discuss things more efficiently with families," said Grigsby. "[We can] hone in on the things that families may have been embarrassed about, or may not have realized were an issue."

"If you work on the social part, and the family portion…we work out that everything is normal, but the problem with the child is that the mom is depressed or there is domestic violence in the family," said Dr. Janeth Ceballos Osorio, pediatrician in UK HealthCare's Kentucky Clinic South. "So if we address that, then the child is going to be better."

UK General Pediatrics was one of 20 practices nationwide selected by the AAP to implement and improve early childhood screenings, referrals and follow-ups. From those 20 practices, eight including UK were selected to be case studies to teach other practices successful strategies and model screening processes.