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Physician practice facilitation ensures key medical care reaches children
Date:5/5/2014

Leona Cuttler, MD, knew in her core that the simple act of adding an outside eye could dramatically improve pediatric care.

Today, a study of more than 16,000 patient visits published online in the journal Pediatrics proves Cuttler's thesis correct. The lead investigator on the research project, Cuttler succumbed to cancer late last year. But her colleagues are committed to seeing its lessons disseminated across the country.

"It was an honor to work on this project with Dr. Cuttler," said study first author Sharon B. Meropol, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and pediatrician, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (UH Rainbow). "This project is one important example of her remarkable legacy as a researcher and child health advocate."

Cuttler, Professor of Pediatrics and Bioethics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and the William T. Dahms Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at UH Rainbow, knew all too well children receive, on average, just half the recommended health care they need. Disadvantaged children often the most at risk for a range of ailments tend to receive even less. She believed a trained practice facilitator or coach could help to make a major, measurable difference in children's treatment.

To test the theory, Cuttler, Meropol and their colleagues engaged with pediatric and family practices across greater Cleveland, including more than a dozen within the University Hospitals health system. Ultimately 30 entities participated in the project, a randomized clinical trial that assessed the impact of "practice-tailored facilitation" on providers' ability to meet quality care standards in three critical areas: obesity detection and counseling, lead exposure screening, and fluoride varnish application to prevent tooth decay. The facilitator, or coach, doesn't
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Contact: Jeannette Spalding
jxs1243@case.edu
216-368-3004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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