Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rosie D. and screening: What is the view from the frontline?

Here we are, one week into mandatory screening for child mental health issues are the practice level. All seems remarkably quiet; so I asked at the end of staff meeting if the staff or providers at South County Pediatrics had any feedback on the process. They did. Of course, I wasn't really ready to take notes, but I will try to record some of the thoughts that were heard.
* Parents of young children find the process a waste of time. Particularly the parents of one or two week olds. The PEDS questions are just not relevant to them.
* No one has yet unmasked previously unknown mental illness with the questionnaires. We actually seem to know our patients pretty well. So far.
* It is a lot of paper. Nursing staff says that it makes it take longer to get the patients in and out of the room, and it takes an extra 45 minutes in the morning to get the papers organized and ready to go.Filing the extra paper is annoying and takes up extra time.
* Most of our parents either said nothing, or think that it is a good idea.
* Someone will get annoyed soon, when they get a bill for a "screening" on top of the usual charge.

My own informal count is the the "positive rate" is about 10%, and that the kids who are screening positive have already been referred, and have either gone for treatment or don't want to be in treatment. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut:
And so it goes....

Add your own comments by pushing the comments button below. I want to hear what you are feeling.
For those of you in Worcester County Massachusetts, I wanted to let you know about two upcoming opportunities to learn more about the upcoming changes:

8 January 2008, 4:30 PM: (Today)
Conversation with the Kathyrn Rucker
Center for Public Representation (the ones who brought the suit)
DSS Conference Room, 25 Winthop St, Worcester MA

12 February 2008, 4:00 PM:
Conversation with Emily Sherwood,
Director of Children's Behavioral Health Interagency Initiatives,
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
DSS Conference Room, 25 Winthop St, Worcester MA

Both events are free, convened by the Worcester Mental Health Network. The events are not wired, so I will be blogging them after the fact.

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