Use of an Internet Portal to Improve Community-Based Pediatric ADHD Care: A Cluster Randomized Trial
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of a quality improvement program to improve pediatricians' adherence to existing, evidence-based, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) practice guidelines.
Methods: Forty-nine community-based pediatricians at 8 practices participated in a cluster-randomized trial. Practices were matched according to the numbers of pediatricians and the proportions of patients receiving Medicaid. The medical charts for a random sample of patients with ADHD for each of the participating pediatricians were examined at baseline and 6 months. All practices participated in 4 sessions of training, including didactic lectures and office flow modification workshops. Practices were then given access to an ADHD Internet portal that allowed parents, teachers, and pediatricians to input information (eg, rating scales) about patients, after which information was scored, interpreted, and formatted in a report style that was helpful for assessment and treatment of patients with ADHD. Physicians evaluated their practice behaviors quarterly and addressed underperforming areas.
Results: Pediatricians in the intervention group, compared with those in the control group, demonstrated significantly higher rates of many American Academy of Pediatrics–recommended ADHD care practices, including collection of parent (Cohen's d = 0.69) and teacher (d = 0.68) rating scales for assessment of children with ADHD, use of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria (d = 0.85), and use of teacher rating scales to monitor treatment responses (d = 1.01).
Conclusion: A quality improvement intervention that can be widely disseminated by using Internet-based information technology significantly improved the quality of ADHD care in community-based pediatric settings.
- attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines
- quality improvement
- Accepted July 6, 2011.
- Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics