Increasing Universal Lipid Screening Among 9- to 11-Year-Old Children Through a Quality Improvement Initiative

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In 2011, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommended universal lipid screening (ULS) in 9- to 11-year-old children. This study aimed to determine whether a quality improvement (QI) initiative increased ULS. Data were abstracted from the electronic medical record to compare screening behaviors 1 year preimplementation and postimplementation. A focus group was conducted to examine physicians’ attitudes. In preimplementation and postimplementation years, the number of 9- to 11-year-olds seen for well-child checks were 356 and 357, respectively. The first and second phases of the intervention were associated with a 64.3% (P < .001) and 2.3% (P = .75) increase in ordering, respectively. The rate of abnormal results was similar (21.4% vs 20.1%, P = .91). Physicians reported “some benefits” to screening but expressed concerns about cost-effectiveness and impact. The QI initiative resulted in high rates of ULS. Nonetheless, physicians continue to question the impact of screening on long-term health. More research on the benefits, costs, and outcomes of ULS is needed.

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