Childhood obesity: Can electronic medical records customized with clinical practice guidelines improve screening and diagnosis?

Authors


Carla Saviñon, DNP, FNP-BC, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-515-3746 (cell), 910-962-7097 (work); Fax: 910-962-3723; E-mail: savinonc@uncw.edu, csavinonNP@ec.rr.com

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to determine if customization of the electronic medical record (EMR) using evidence-based practice guidelines developed by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the Expert Panel recommendations for the prevention, screening, and treatment of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity would improve the rate of screening and diagnosis of obesity in children, 7 to 18 years of age.

Data resources: A retrospective review of encounters before and after implementation of customized EMR was conducted in a community health center. Data collected were compared for documentation of body mass index (BMI), completion of growth charts, scoring of risk questionnaire, and diagnosis of overweight or obesity.

Conclusions: There was a clear increase in the frequency of recording BMI, completing BMI growth charts, and scoring questionnaires between written and electronic medical records. The number of children diagnosed with overweight or obesity increased with customized EMR but still remains well below the rates of obesity for this community.

Implications for practice: Customizing EMR with clinical practice guidelines improved adherence to recommendations for screening and identification of childhood overweight and obesity. Increased recognition and diagnosis will lead to improved interventions and improve outcomes for childhood obesity.

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