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Pediatrics. 2012 Sep;130(3):e669-75. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2920. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Improving newborn screening follow-up in pediatric practices: quality improvement innovation network.

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National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



To implement a 6-month quality improvement project in 15 primary care pediatric practices to improve short-term newborn screening (NBS) follow-up.


At the start of the project, each practice completed a survey to evaluate office systems related to NBS and completed a chart audit. Practice teams were provided information about NBS and trained in quality-improvement methods, and then implemented changes to improve care. Monthly chart audits over a 6-month period were completed to assess change.


At baseline, almost half of practices completed assessment of infants for NBS; after 6 months, 80% of practices completed assessment of all infants. Only 2 practices documented all in-range results and shared them with parents at baseline; by completion, 10 of 15 practices documented and shared in-range results for ≥ 70% of infants. Use of the American College of Medical Genetics ACTion sheets, a decision support tool, increased from 1 of 15 practices at baseline to 7 of 15 at completion.


Practices were successful in improving NBS processes, including assessment, documentation, and communication with families. Providers perceived no increase in provider time at first visit, 2- to 4-week visit, or during first contact with the family of an infant with an out-of-range result after implementation of improved processes. Primary care practices increased their use of decision support tools after the project.

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