Researchers Develop Automated System to Improve Children’s Health | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Researchers Develop Automated System to Improve Children’s Health

April 16, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Researchers from Indiana University and the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute have developed an automated system aimed at helping enable pediatricians focus on the specific health needs of each patient in the short time allotted for preventive care. The systems comes on the heels of a new study, “Automated Primary Care Screening in Pediatric Waiting Rooms,” in the May 2012 issue of Pediatrics which found personalizing and automating the patient screening process and then alerting the physician to positive results of risk factors enables them to direct attention to the particular needs of the individual child and the child’s family.

The automated system created by the Indiana University and Regenstrief researchers, called the Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation System (CHICA), aims to do exactly that.

“Research has shown that what is recommended for well-child pediatric visits greatly exceeds what is practical to accomplish,” senior study author Stephen Downs, M.D., IU School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics and a Regenstrief Institute investigator, said in a statement. “CHICA prescreens so the physician can focus on what needs to be done for each individual child. The computer picks 20 questions to be answered by the family based on what’s known about that family — for e example someone living in the household smokes or the child has previously been diagnosed with asthma.”

The system uses information from a child's parent or other family member in the waiting room as well as pre-existing data from the Regenstrief Medical Record System, the nation's oldest continually operational electronic medical record system, to provide critical information and clinical reminders to pediatricians. The personal-based information comes when family members use a pencil and paper to answer targeted questions. Responses are scanned into the electronic medical record before the pediatrician sees the child.

For instance, if the parent has indicated that the child lives with a smoker, CHICA will prompt the pediatrician to discuss smoking cessation programs as well as dangers of second-hand smoke.

An open-source system, CHICA, the researchers say, can interface with any electronic medical record system. It aims to solve questions of both information overload and costs while helping the pediatrician focus on the specifics of the patient in the examination room, according to the study authors.

“In our study of nearly 17,000 patients, over 408,000 questions were asked and we had an impressive response rate of 89 percent,”study first author Vibha Anand, Ph.D., IU School of Medicine assistant professor of pediatrics and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist, said in a statement. “One in 10 answers indicated a risk factor, so on average CHICA identified two areas needing targeted physician focus per clinic visit for each child.”

The study was conducted in pediatric clinics at Wishard Health Services, a large public health care system in Indianapolis. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Trump will Nominate Acting VA Secretary Wilkie for Permanent Position

Just a day after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Cerner inked their $10 billion EHR (electronic health record) deal, President Trump said he would be nominating Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie for the permanent position.

ONC Names API Server Showdown Stage 2 Winner

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has named 1UpHealth as the Stage 2 winner of the “Secure API Server Showdown” challenge.

EHNAC Developing Trusted Exchange Accreditation Program

To align with the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, a nonprofit standards development organization and accrediting body, is working with other organizations to establish a new Trusted Exchange Accreditation Program.

Lawmakers Demand New VA CIO, Citing “Malign Neglect” on EHR Project

A group of Democratic federal lawmakers, five senators and six members of Congress, are calling out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for what they call “malign neglect” in the agency’s efforts to achieve electronic health record (EHR) modernization.

Medical Record Access Proves Costly for Some Patients, GAO Report Finds

Federal law requires healthcare providers to give patients access to their medical records, but according to a new GAO report, some patients believe they’re being charged too much to access their records.

Parkland’s Innovation Bridge Takes ‘Genius Bar’ Approach to Digital Health Apps

Taking inspiration from the Apple Genius Bar and Ochsner Health System’s O Bar, the Dallas-based Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation in collaboration with Parkland Health & Hospital System has opened an “Innovation Bridge” to assist patients with health-related apps.