Monday, February 2, 2009

Implementing Behavioral Health Screening: What is a good screening rate?

I pointed out last month that, as of the third quarter of the implementation of the Rosie D. Screening process, we had achieved a rate of screening of 40%.  You might ask, is that good?  I argued that it was pretty remarkable for such a new policy;  my opinion seems to be supported by a study by Alison Schoenwald and her colleague's in this month's Pediatrics.  I am impressed that she was able to publish such a QI study;  what they found was pretty straightforward, but also pretty useful.  At Children's Hospital, with training, and an implementation protocol, they were able to move a practice from a screening rate of 15% to 62%.  Most of what the children identified in the screening had speech delay and needed audiology or EI services.   Many of the screening failures, it turns out,  happened because the children were brought in by someone other than the parent.  No surprise, that happens to us all of the time.  
I will be surprised if the fourth quarter numbers are much about 50%, based on those numbers.  Takes a lot of work to get this screening stuff to happen.
By the way, P Phil, the groundhog saw his shadow and ran away.  It really will be a long cold lonely winter.

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