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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2011 Jun;50(6):543-9. doi: 10.1177/0009922810395131.

Health information technology to guide pediatric obesity management.

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  • 1Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, 133 Brookline Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine pediatricians' familiarity with expert committee recommendations on the management of childhood obesity and their use of health information technology for obesity-related care. The authors interviewed 35 pediatricians from 17 primary care practices using an electronic health record; immersion crystallization facilitated analysis of the qualitative data. Nearly all pediatricians were unfamiliar with expert recommendations; however, all participants reported using growth charts and providing nutrition and physical activity counseling. Most participants wanted easy access to educational materials they could print for patients. The majority of participants were in favor of an electronic alert to identify obese patients, remind clinicians of current guidelines, and facilitate ordering, believing it would help standardize care. Concerns included "alert fatigue," distraction, and disruption of workflow. Suggestions for future electronic functions included tailored educational materials and physical activity resources customized by patient address.

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