(HealthDay News) – Primary care pediatric practices can improve short-term newborn screening (NBS) follow-up through quality-improvement processes.

Cynthia F. Hinton, PhD, MPH, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues surveyed 15 primary care pediatric practices to evaluate office systems related to NBS. A chart audit was completed. Practices were trained in quality-improvement methods, and monthly chart audits were performed to assess change over six months.

The researchers found that, at baseline, almost half of practices completed assessment of infants for NBS and, after six months, 80% of practices completed assessment of all infants. All in-range results were documented and shared with parents by two practices at baseline. By completion, 10 of 15 practices documented and shared in-range results for ≥70% of infants. There was an increase in use of the American College of Medical Genetics ACTion sheets, a decision support tool, from one practice at baseline to seven of 15 practices at completion.

“Practices were successful in improving NBS processes, including assessment, documentation, and communication with families,” the authors write.

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