Toolboxes for Clinicians

Research demonstrates that a child’s healthy development is essential to school readiness, academic success, and overall well-being. Services that support young children’s healthy development can reduce the prevalence of developmental and behavioral disorders that have high costs and long-term consequences for health, education, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems. It is clear that more must be done to assure access to the diagnostic assessment and early intervention services needed as follow-up to developmental screening. Building on current research and best practices from across the country, there are opportunities for states to strengthen linkages among services to promote healthy child development. States participating in NASHP’s ABCD initiative have done much work in this area, including the five ABCD III states who are building models to strengthen linkages and enhance care coordination between primary care and other child and family service providers as part of ABCD III.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement, Identifying Infants and Young Children with Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening, recommends that developmental surveillance be performed at every preventive visit and that a screening tool should be administered at 9, 18, and 24-month visits. In the 3rd edition of Bright Futures Guidelines, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised their recommended periodicity schedule to include three new well-child visits at 30 months, 7 years, and 9 years of age.

The Clinician Toolboxes that are featured on this site contain information for primary care providers interested in promoting the use of structured developmental screening in their office practices. Each toolbox contains information about key activities related to developmental screening such as a discussion of screening tools, coding and reimbursement, and practice guidelines*. The Clinician Toolboxes contain information for primary care providers interested in promoting the use of structured developmental screening in their office practices. Each toolbox contains information about key activities related to developmental screening such as a discussion of screening tools, coding and reimbursement, and practice guidelines*.

*1 The initial scan was completed by Anita Berry MSN, CNP/APN, Director of Healthy Steps for Young Children Program and Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC) for Advocate Health Care, Illinois. The clinical review panel included: Ruth Allen, EPSDT Director, Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Paula Duncan, M.D., Youth Health Director, VCHIP, Clinical Professor of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Vermont; Marian Earls, M.D., FAAP, Medical Director, Guilford Child Health, Inc.; Glenace Edwall, Psy.D, Ph.D, Director, Children’s Mental Health Division, Minnesota Department of Human Services; Alfred Healy, M.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa College of Medicine; Quentin Humberd, M.D., President, Tennessee Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics; Penny Knapp, M.D., Medical Director, Children’s Services, California Department of Mental Health; Paul, Lipkin, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Director, Center for Development and Learning, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Chuck Norlin, M.D., Chief, Division of General Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine; Ed Schor, M.D., Vice President, The Commonwealth Fund, Deborah Usry, Developmental Services Coordinator, Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The toolboxes were selected based on a scan of available toolboxes by a pediatric nurse practitioner and reviewed by a workgroup of clinicians with expertise in the area of child development. Each was reviewed for focus, covered topics, strengths and weaknesses, comprehensiveness, and ease of use. All toolboxes aim to assist practices in the use of objective, validated screening tools and processes.

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