Article| Volume 28, ISSUE 6, P516-525, November 2014

Implementing an Early Childhood Developmental Screening and Surveillance Program in Primary Care Settings: Lessons Learned From a Project in Illinois

      Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC) is a project with a goal to increase the financing and delivery of preventive developmental services for children birth to age 3 years in the state of Illinois. Primary care providers have more opportunities to screen and observe infants and toddlers than any other professional, because they see them up to 13 times in the first 3 years of life for well-child visits. The project focused on using a 1-hour, on-site training for primary care providers and their entire office staff as the method of increasing knowledge, focusing on intent to change practice and implementation of routine early childhood developmental screening. Although many primary care providers routinely use only developmental surveillance in their practices, clinical practice guidelines recommend routine use of standardized developmental screening, using validated developmental screening tools. This article includes lessons learned and recommendations based on clinical practice guidelines and experiences of the team members during implementation of the EDOPC project. Primary care providers are critical to this process because children with developmental disorders have the best long-term outcomes and opportunities for improved family functioning with early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

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      Anita D. Berry, Advocate Health Care, Director, Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, Director, Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care Project, Advocate Children's Hospital, Downers Grove, IL.


      Dawn Lee Garzon, Teaching Professor and PNP Emphasis Area Coordinator, College of Nursing, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.


      Patricia Mack, Advocate Health Care, Healthy Steps Specialist, Consultant, Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, Co-Director, Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care Project, Advocate Children's Hospital, Downers Grove, IL.


      Katelyn Z. Kanwischer, Advocate Health Care, Healthy Steps Specialist, Consultant, Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, Advocate Children's Hospital, Downers Grove, IL.


      Deborah Guzzo Beck, Advocate Health Care, Coordinator, Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, Healthy Steps Administrative Assistant, Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care Project, Advocate Children's Hospital, Downers Grove, IL.