Implementation of Adolescent Depression Care Guidelines into the Electronic Health Record at a Rural Pediatric Primary Care Clinic
Background: Healthcare providers are encouraged to prepare their practice to effectively manage the care of mild to moderate adolescent depression. Cost-effective screening, diagnostic, and newly developed pediatric primary care depression management guidelines have been established. To integrate guidelines into practice, primary care providers (PCPs) must document effectively to ensure a complete treatment plan is in place in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).
Intervention: Elements from a flowsheet were implemented into the EHR to promote thorough assessment and documentation of care delivered to adolescents with depression.
Methods: An initial chart review was completed on patients diagnosed with depression. An updated depression template was implemented within the EHR for six weeks. A follow-up chart review was completed post-intervention to determine if documentation of elements from the adolescent depression guidelines improved after the EHR update. Pre-intervention and post- intervention surveys were delivered to PCP’s to understand their perspective on adolescent depression management.
Outcomes: The chart review revealed that baseline PHQ-9 screenings were documented in 91% (n=43) of the charts reviewed in the pre-intervention timeframe. Only 78% (n=7) of the charts reviewed during post-intervention included PHQ-9 screenings. Early intervention treatment options documented in the pre-intervention timeframe included education 100% (n=47), medication prescriptions 53% (n=25), and psychotherapy referrals 18% (n=18). During post- intervention, education 100% (n=9), medication prescriptions 78% (7), and psychotherapy referrals 22% (n=7) were documented by the PCPs.
Recommendation: The quality improvement project focused heavily on documentation completed over a one year pre-intervention timeframe compared to a six-week post-intervention timeframe. Further evaluation and chart review over the next year will provide a more adequate comparison of documentation within primary care practice.