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CHICA, automated system developed by Regenstrief and IU, improves autism screening rate
Date:11/15/2013

An automated system developed by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University to help pediatricians focus on the specific health needs of each patient in the short time allotted for preventive care improves autism screening rates by identifying at-risk children at the 24-month visit. Nationwide children typically are not diagnosed with autism until age 4 or 5 years.

"Computer Decision Support to Improve Autism Screening and Care in Community Pediatric Clinics" appears in the October-December issue of the journal Infants & Young Children.

By personalizing and automating the patient screening process and then alerting the physician to the results, the Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation system, or CHICA, prompts the pediatrician to follow up in needed areas. Open-source CHICA can potentially interface with any electronic medical record system.

CHICA has supported the care of more than 36,000 patients since its 2004 implementation for pediatric preventive care and disease management at community clinics associated with Wishard-Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. Half of the families served by CHICA are black, and a third are Hispanic. More than two-thirds of the families have Medicaid.

At each visit, CHICA produces a 20-question prescreening form (in English or Spanish) personalized to the patient, linked to the child's electronic medical record and completed by parents in the waiting room. At the 24-month visit, CHICA produces a standard autism screening instrument that is automatically scored. If concerns are raised, the physician receives an alert to verify and make a referral for further work-up and/or early intervention. If the electronic medical record indicates higher risk for autism (for example an autistic sibling), CHICA bypasses formal screening and alerts the physician to refer the child for further evaluation.

Approximately 1 in 88 children has been identified with
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-843-2276
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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CHICA, automated system developed by Regenstrief and IU, improves autism screening rate
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