Increasing Diagnosis and Treatment of Overweight and Obese Pediatric Patients

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Abstract

Purpose.

To determine if a guideline-based electronic health record (EHR) template and staff education would increase diagnosis and treatment of overweight and obese children.

Method.

At a large pediatric office, a minitemplate was customized to pediatric obesity evidence-based practice guidelines. Staff were educated regarding current guidelines and instructed to merge minitemplate to EHR encounters in which body mass indexes (BMIs) were greater than the 85th percentile, thus integrating assessment questions, overweight or obese diagnoses, and triggered treatment order sets.

Results.

A total of 9701 charts of 2- to 18-year-old patients presenting over 6 months were reviewed. Preintervention, 52% with BMIs greater than the 85th percentile had diagnoses of overweight or obese in problem lists; 86% received treatment when diagnosed. Postintervention, 75% had diagnoses in problem lists, and 96% received treatment.

Conclusion.

This initiative illustrated how EHR customization and staff education improved the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric overweight and obesity.

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