The Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) is enrolling practices in a learning collaborative to improve screening and referrals for children at risk of delays, autism, and behavioral concerns.
Which practices should enroll?
  • Practices that want to start screening.
  • Practices that want to increase screening consistency.
  • Practices that want to switch screens from a paper to an electronic format.
Additional benefits include MOC Part IV and the Ages and Stages Developmental Screening Tool ($295 value).
The collaborative will run from January to September 2017. Enrollment is through December 31, 2016.
Contact or click here to learn more.
While only 25 percent of Alabama’s children are appropriately screened for developmental delay, 11 practices from across the state tripled developmental screening to 96 percent and nearly doubled autism screening to 91 percent over the course of a nine month quality improvement learning collaborative lead by the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA). Moreover, these practices reliably referred at-risk children to further evaluations and support such as Early Intervention and Help Me Grow. Practices in the Tuscaloosa area incorporated social-emotional screening to link children in need with behavioral resources piloted by Project LAUNCH. UAB staff involved in the ACHIA collaborative included: Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, M.D., FAAP, collaborative content expert; Justin Schwartz, M.D., FAAP,  guest speaker; and Cason Benton, M.D., FAAP was the course director and QI coach. Click here for an overview of the collaborative.
Every continuous quality improvement collaborative has a story.  The Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) has developed a one-page “360” to quickly tell the improvement story for its Healthy Active Living and Help Me Grow Alabama collaboratives:  why the topic is important, who participated, what improved, as well as lessons learned.  Check them out here and here!

In other ACHIA news:
- Prevent HPV Cancers Today! An ACHIA HPV QI Collaborative, presented in conjunction with the Alabama Chapter-AAP, the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, and the Alabama Department of Public Health, gets underway this month.  It is ACHIA’s largest collaborative yet with 11 practices and 59 pediatricians and family physicians from across Alabama participating.
- “The Big Sort”:  All health issues for children are important—but what are the most critical issues for Alabama child healthcare providers to prioritize in the next few years?  Asthma? ADHD? Screening for delay? The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health is leading ACHIA partners and others interested in child health in a process to sort and prioritize health topics.  The results will be used to channel energies for future ACHIA collaboratives and other continuous quality improvement endeavors.  At the Chapter’s Spring Meeting at the end of April, we will present more information about the sort process and how members can participate.
As part of its ongoing efforts to serve as a leader in cancer prevention and control, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has led the establishment of a coalition of organizations from across Alabama to address barriers and improve human papilloma virus vaccination rates in the state. Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) is a proud participant of this coalition. 

Cervical cancer is the only cancer that can be prevented through vaccination, yet HPV vaccination rates remain low. In 2014, data from the Alabama Department of Public Health showed there are significantly low rates of HPV vaccination among teens living in Alabama. Only 39 percent of adolescent girls in Alabama, between 13 and 17 years old, have received all three doses of the HPV vaccine, and only 9 percent of adolescent boys in Alabama have received the vaccine.

What are the health care areas most important for practices providing care to Alabama’s children and adolescents to improve in the next 3-5 years?  That is the question ACHIA’s partners and guests will tackle at the Alabama Q-Sort on July 27, 2016. 

Should providers improve: the number of children being seen for well child visits? asthma care? obesity prevention and treatment? adolescent depression screening? Screening for developmental delays? delivery of HPV and other vaccinations?  or perhaps some other area? 

Through a Q-Sort of Quality measures lead by the University of Alabama School of Public Health, ACHIA partners and guests will assess which of these topics have the greatest need and the greatest ability to be improved at the practice level in the next few years.  The results will be reported out in Fall 2016 and will provide the foundation for ACHIA to marshall resources to support practices around the state as they tackle continuous quality improvement.

If you would like more information about the Alabama Q-sort, contact Cason Benton.