Article| Volume 35, ISSUE 2, P188-195, March 2021

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Implementing a Standardized Cardiac Protocol for the Adolescent Preparticipation Sports Examination

Published:December 24, 2020DOI:


      To evaluate adolescent athletes for cardiovascular (CV) abnormalities before engaging in competitive sports, the American Heart Association guidelines recommend preparticipation screening. The initiative aimed to implement a standardized protocol to increase the identification of CV abnormalities during athletic physical examinations.


      A rapid-cycle model with four Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles was implemented in two urgent care clinics. Providers used a CV-specific screening checklist; parents were engaged in a discussion about the importance of this screening, and team engagement activities were used. Outcomes were measured with chart audits and surveys.


      Because of the intervention, 62% of athletes were screened, with 29% identified as having a CV risk. The satisfaction of the patients and the team increased by 3% and 62.5%, respectively.


      Despite competing foci in the clinics, athletes were properly screened using a standardized checklist, which is easily sustainable and can be duplicated in other settings.


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      Khara' A. Jefferson, Family Nurse Practitioner, Frontier Nursing University, Versailles, KY