Step 4: Map Out Flow and Integrate Screening

Your practice staff now understands the importance of standardized developmental screening. But how do you move from deciding to screen to actually screening? By integrating the screening process seamlessly into your current practice flow!

Integration

Integration cannot be underestimated. It is easy to see how screening can make a difference, but with the other demands that every staffer faces in their day to day work, there is also a reason screening is not currently occurring regularly. If you ask your staff to add something completely new and time-consuming- for instance, mailing out a developmental screen to families before scheduled appointments when there is currently no mailing system in place- you are setting the process up for failure. If instead you are only adding one step to a staffers current process- like having the receptionist include the screen in initial paperwork when signing in a family- it is more likely to happen and less likely to cause resistance.

The following steps will help you develop a sustainable screening flow:

  • Conduct an environmental scan of your practice: What is the current process of a well-child visit? How much time does a family spend in each part of the process? What opportunities are there to implement different aspects of the screen during this time?
  • Consult with members of the staff: Staff might have different insight into the process- in particular, what would be easy for them to add and what would cause unpredictable issues? Additionally, consulting with all staffers shows them that they are an important part of the team and helps maintain their buy-in into the process.
  • Map out the process and include screening steps: Use the attached templates to visualize the practice process and distribute the screening steps at each stage

Included in this Step:

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Investing in quality early learning programs is the most efficient way to affect school and life success and to reduce social expenditures later.

James Heckman, economist, Nobel laureate