Pediatricians and family doctors alike know that getting parents in for preventive well-care visits can have a big impact on health. Yet well-child care attendance rates are often suboptimal, with diminishing attendance over time. According to a recent study of 8 clinics, only 67.4% of parents were attending the minimum number of well-child visits as required by the American Academy of Pediatrics periodicity schedule*. According to research by the AAP, by the time a child is 15 months old, well-child care visit rates can be as low as 41%.* In many cases, parents often simply forget when their child needs to be seen next.
In the first three years, the AAP / Bright Futures periodicity schedule recommends around 15 well-child visits to track growth and development, offer preventative care such as immunizations, and to improve overall health. These visits allow pediatricians to identify and manage problems early to avoid hospitalization. For example, children with chronic conditions, such as asthma, who miss more than half their recommended well-child visits have up to twice the risk of hospitalization.*
With the shift to value-based care, pediatric professionals are focusing on quality improvement projects in the following areas:
- Well-Child Visit Reminders: encourage adherence to well-child schedule
- Wellness Education: provide pro-active wellness information and links to appropriate community resources
- Pre-Appointment: send appointment reminders and preparation instructions
- Chronic Condition Management: identify and track children with special health care needs, sending care plan reminders, ongoing encouragement, and periodic assessment data to expedite intervention
While there are many programs to send one-way well-child visit reminders or education, two-way messaging is key to meeting quality improvement goals. Telmediq’s patient engagement solution is an essential component to improving adherence to well-child initiatives. Telmediq’s text-first two-way message solution supports pre-scheduled and automated communication, including well-child visit reminders and tips or links to educational materials specific to the age of the child. Sending a reminder to schedule an upcoming well-child visit will boost a higher response rate if patients can respond via two-way message, click a link to an online appointment system, or use a click-to-call button.
We collaborated with one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems to encourage parents of 0-3 year olds to schedule well-child appointments. In total, the program led to a 13% increase in the number of pediatric well-child visits, significantly improving adherence rates to the periodicity schedule beyond the early months. Prior to the shift, many well-child visits occurred up to a month after they should have; with Telmediq, this window has been cut in half. In addition to improving many metrics around pediatric health, the program has also helped raise postpartum depression screening rates from 30% to 70%.
Contact us to learn how we can help improve your well-child initiatives.
* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30614260 ; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30305388 ; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524104642.htm