Well-child visits are the foundation of pediatric primary care in the U.S. Accounting for more than one-third of all outpatient visits for infants and toddlers, the appointments are intended to give doctors the opportunity to identify health, social, developmental and behavioral issues that could have a long-term impact on children's lives.
However, several studies have shown that the current system of well-child care leaves room for improvement. One major concern is that well-child care guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics call for physicians to provide more services than can realistically be completed within a 15-minute office visit. As a result, many children do not get all of the preventive care services that they need and the problem is more acute for low-income families, thanks largely due to their greater psychosocial and developmental needs for and greater need for parenting education.
In a year-long study led by Dr. Tumaini Coker, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, researchers developed a new design for preventive health care for children from birth through age 3 from low-income communities. The team partnered with two community pediatric practices and a multi-site community health center in greater Los Angeles.
"The usual way of providing preventive care to young children is just not meeting the needs of the low-income families served by these clinics and practices," said Coker, who also is a researcher with the hospital's UCLA Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute. "Our goal was to create an innovative and reproducible but locally customizable approach to deliver comprehensive preventive care that is more family-centered, effective and efficient."
The researchers created two working groups of pediatric clinicians, staff, clinic leadership and parents to design the new models of care. One working group was at South Bay Family Health Care, and an
|Contact: Amy Albin|
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences