A few months ago, PCC spread the word about the Toolkit for the Follow-up Care of the Premature Infant - a valuable new resource developed by pediatric specialists and other health professionals in collaboration with MedImmune and the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ).
And in recognizing the shortage of good preemie protocols in the EHR world, PCC recently jumped at the opportunity to integrate into PCC EHR the clinical assessment tools offered in the Toolkit.
Designed to be added to the general Bright Futures well visit, the preemie protocols in PCC EHR are now available to all our EHR practices. PCC EHR users need only call PCC Support at (800) 722-1082 for a free installation.
Dr. Veena Kumar, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at MedImmune says the medical advisory group that designed the Toolkit had identified a clear need to fill the gap in the transition of premature infants from the inpatient to outpatient setting.
In a 2008 MedImmune survey, in which 202 pediatricians and neonatologists examined current attitudes and practices when caring for preterm infants, 70 percent of respondents felt healthcare in the U.S. doesn't dedicate enough resources to preventive healthcare for preemies.
Preterm birth costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive premature birth often suffer from complex medical problems that can last a lifetime.
Dr. Kumar says the Toolkit was developed to complement the care that physicians already provide. And having the preemie protocols already built in to PCC EHR means pediatricians don't have to develop these protocols from scratch.
A number of practices have already expressed interest in receiving the preemie protocols offered in PCC EHR. Dr. Alison Nash, of St. Louis Pediatric Practitioners, in St. Louis, MO, had a chance last week to preview some of the protocols. "It will be very helpful," Dr. Nash told us.
For those PCC practices that are currently participating in the PCC EHR online process, the preemie protocols have already been integrated into your PCC EHR. The majority of our practices, however, must call us to request the protocols. If you are a PCC practice and would like to know more, we've included a PDF of one of the PCC EHR preemie protocols for your review. If you decide they're a good fit for your practice, just make a quick call to PCC Support at 800-722-1082. We're now ready and waiting to copy the protocols into your EHR.