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J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 Sep-Oct;103(9-10):852-6.

Incomplete follow-up of hemoglobinopathy carriers identified by newborn screening despite reporting in electronic medical records.

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School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York 10032, USA.



Has the recent availability of newborn hemoglobinopathy screening results within patient electronic medical records (EMR) of birth hospitals facilitated follow-up by primary care pediatric providers?


An online survey of all 137 primary care pediatric providers at a New York City academic medical center was conducted in 2008-2009 to assess practices for hemoglobin-apathy trait follow-up. Physicians were resurveyed 1 year later, following educational outreach and a letter of instruction underscoring the availability of screening results in the EMR. All 62 primary care pediatricians were surveyed at a nearby city hospital for comparison.


Overall response rate for the initial survey at the teaching hospital was 58% for pediatricians (N = 57) and family physicians (N = 23), and 50% for pediatricians at the city hospital (N = 31). Despite high prevalence of hemoglobinopathies in the population served and screening results in EMRs, only 46.2% of providers surveyed at the academic center reported routinely checking results of their infant patients: 38.6% of pediatricians and 66.7% of family practitioners. Some respondents were unaware that results are available in the EMR. The proportion of providers checking screening results was not significantly affected by educational intervention (N = 40). Provision of recommended follow-up for a positive trait result was modestly improved, especially in referring families for genetic counseling (25% to 50%, p<.01). In contrast, most pediatricians (83%) at the city hospital routinely check and perform follow-up.


Despite access to results in the EMR and targeted educational outreach, follow-up of hemoglobinopathy screening by primary care varies widely across clinical sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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