OBJECTIVE. Effective delivery of preventive services is an essential component of high-quality pediatric health care. However, both variation in and deviation from accepted guidelines have been reported. Learning collaboratives (LCs) have been shown to result in improvement in several aspects of pediatric care. The objective of this study was to determine whether pediatric practices that participated in a preventive services LC would improve their delivery of preventive services.
METHODS. After conducting an initial audit of the medical records of twenty 2-year-olds and twenty 4-year-olds for documentation of preventive services on the basis of national standards, practice teams attended a quality improvement workshop. They were presented with evidence to support the value of preventive services and the results of their audits and taught quality improvement methods, eg, rapid cycles of change. Each team developed plans to improve 1 or more services. Brief audits with feedback and monthly conference calls were used to support practices to conduct rapid cycles of change, to discuss barriers and solutions, and to monitor progress. The results of final chart audits of twenty 2-year-olds and 4-year-olds were compared with the initial chart audits. A Preventive Service Score (PSS) was assigned to each practice on the basis of the number of services provided, and initial to final comparisons were made.
RESULTS. Fourteen practices participated. PSSs improved for all practices after the LC. Mean PSS for 2-year-olds increased from 4.0 ± 1.1 to 4.9 ± 1.2 and for 4-year-olds increased from 3.8 ± 1.8 to 5.6 ± 1.9. The proportions of children who received 9 of the 10 individual preventive services also improved significantly.
CONCLUSION. LCs are a potentially effective method of improving the quality of care that is delivered by pediatric practices.