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IU, Regenstrief automated system aims to improve child health
Date:4/16/2012

CHICA is an open-source system and could interface with any electronic medical record system. CHICA solves both information overload and cost problems while helping the pediatrician focus on the specifics of the patient in the examination room according to the study authors. Since the system uses paper, it can be implemented with little or no staff training.

The new study also provides estimates of the prevalence of various risk factors for things often not covered in well-child visits such as smoking in the home, misuse of child car seats and teenage depression.

"In our study of nearly 17,000 patients, over 408,000 questions were asked and we had an impressive response rate of 89 percent," said study first author Vibha Anand, Ph.D., IU School of Medicine assistant professor of pediatrics and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist. "One in 10 answers indicated a risk factor, so on average CHICA identified two areas needing targeted physician focus per clinic visit for each child."

Among the risk factors identified by the study:

  • 57 percent of the teenagers who indicated they were sexually active did not use any birth control method.
  • 40 percent of children did not use a helmet when riding a tricycle or bicycle.
  • 20 percent of children lived with smokers.
  • 16 percent of babies slept with a bottle.
  • 9 percent of children were not meeting developmental milestones.
  • 9 percent of teenagers were depressed.
  • 4 percent of mothers had symptoms of depression.

The study was conducted in pediatric clinics at Wishard Health Services, a large public health care system in Indianapolis. Fifty-two percent of the children who participated in the study were African-American, 33 percent were Latino, and 9 percent were white. Approximately 85 percent received health insurance coverage from Medicaid.

The third study co-author, in addition to Drs. Downs and Anand, is Aaron Carroll, M.D.,
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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