ABSTRACT: Feasibility of a virtual learning collaborative to implement an obesity QI project in 29 pediatric practices.
Quality improvement (QI) activities are required to maintain board certification in pediatrics. However, because of lack of training and resources, pediatricians may feel overwhelmed by the need to implement QI activities. Pediatricians also face challenges when caring for overweight and obese children.
To create a virtual (online) QI learning collaborative through which pediatric practices could easily develop and implement a continuous QI process.
Pediatric practices that were part of the Children’s National Health Network were invited to participate, with the option to receive continuing medical education and maintenance of certification credits.
s) Practices conducted baseline and monthly chart audits, participated in educational webinars and selected monthly practice changes, using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles. Practices reported activities monthly and periodic feedback was provided to practices about their performance.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:
s) Improvement in (i) body mass index (BMI) percentile documentation, (ii) appropriate nutritional and activity counseling and (iii) follow-up management for high-risk patients.
Twenty-nine practices (120 providers) participated, and 24 practices completed all program activities. Monthly chart audits demonstrated continuous improvement in documentation of BMI, abnormal weight diagnosis, nutrition and activity screening and counseling, weight-related health messages and follow-up management of overweight and obese patients. Impact of QI activities on visit duration and practice efficiency was minimal.
A virtual learning collaborative was successful in providing a framework for pediatricians to implement a continuous QI process and achieve practice improvements. This format can be utilized to address multiple health issues.