Clinical Practice


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    well-visits), click here. ​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​BF-tipsheets-thumb.pngMany pediatric health care professionals have asked whether it is really possible to implement the recommendations in Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition in daily clinical practice. The answer is Yes!  

In fact, you may already be using many of the Bright Futures principles and recommendations. The material in this section makes implementation even easier for you. These handy NEW and UPDATED tip sheets offer practical advice to help you integrate the Bright Futures approach, tools and resources into your daily practice. 

 Get to Know the Bright Futures Guidelines and Core Tools

 Take Advantage of Other Practice Tools and Resources that Support Implementation of the Bright Futures Guidelines

  • Refer to Bright Futures: Nutrition and the Bright Futures: Nutrition Pocket Guide for the latest nutrition guidance. Use the practice tools and forms in these resources to promote and support healthful eating among your patients.
  • Use the AAP Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool to identify children who are at highest risk for oral health problems and need additional care and guidance. This tool is available in English and Spanish.
  • Use the Bright Futures​: Oral Health - Pocket Guide, ​3rd Edition ​​​​​​(produced by the ​National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center) that provides detailed information about oral health supervison including oral health risk assessment. This guide is consistent with the Bright Futures Guidelines, 4th Edition​.
  • Use the Physical Developmental Delays: What to Look For Too​l which is an interactive online tool for parents of children ages 5 and under to use when they are concerned about their child’s motor development. ​​
  • Use the Facilitated Mini Training - Developmental Surveillance to Identify and discuss developmental surveillance best practices in your office setting. This free training, developed with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is intended to be facilitated by members of the practice team to encourage discussion in a short, 15-20 minute presentation. The training consists of presenter slides, facilitator speaker notes, and a case study​. The format for the training was inspired by the Spark trainings developed by the Adolescent Health Initiative at the University of Michigan. Their trainings can be found here.​
  • Display family-friendly posters in your office to support healthful eating and good nutrition. Promote early literacy with the Books Build Connections Toolkit. This toolkit includes material for health professionals and easy-to-understand material for families.
  • The CDC Learn the Signs. Act Early. program provides free resources and materials for pediatricians to engage parents in developmental surveillance, so parents can monitor their child's development, and effectively communicate their concerns. Materials can be distributed to parents, and/or used on websites or patient portals. Developmental milestone checklists, brochures, children's books, and more are available. These materials can be customized with your contact information and are also available in Spanish.​
  • The Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Screening© (RAAPS) are web-based, standardized ​​validated risk screening tools to address risk behaviors (age range: 9-24 years). As part of the ​content, health messages appear for teens following completion of the RAAPS. Health messages provide professionals evidence-based behavior change ideas to assist in discussions with teens. ​​Note: The AAP is not responsible for the content of this resource.

 Organize Your Office Practice to Make Implementing Bright Futures Easy

  • Start gradually. Some health care providers may see efforts to implement all recommendations in the Bright Futures Guidelines at once as overwhelming. Implementing Bright Futures recommendations in parts and stages can ease the transition.
  • Involve your entire team. Include, for example, a physician, nurse practitioner, medical ancillary staff or assistant, child development specialist, nutritionist, and administrative office system staff. These individuals help ensure that Bright Futures components permeate the entire practice and that all workers are invested in the implementation effort.
  • Use the Bright Futures Preventive Services Quality Improvement Measures, which will help you incorporate quality improvement into your practice on an ongoing basis.
  • Set up a preventive services prompting system to ensure that your patients receive all the preventive services recommended in the Bright Futures Guidelines, 4th Edition.
  • Develop and use a recall-and-reminder system.
  • Connect and build relationships with community resources that can reinforce your work with patients and families.
  • Integrate the Bright Futures Guidelines, 4th Edition​ into your electronic health record (EHR) system. Visit Health I.T. at the AAP​ for more resources.

Visit the Quality Improvement section to learn more about these items and download useful tools and tips.

 Use a Strength-based Approach to Partnering With Patients and Families

  • Work with the patients and families in your practice to assess and build their strengths so that they can say YES! to a healthy life. 
  • When encouraging behavior changes from patients and families, use shared decision-making strategies and motivational interviewing techniques to arrive at a workable plan to solve problems. 
  • Become familiar with the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework.
  • Review this resource​ that operationalizes the 5 Protective Factors with suggested questions and feedback that clinicians could use with parents to elicit and discuss these family strengths.

 Share Bright Futures Materials With Families

 Share Your Bright Futures Knowledge With Others

  • Promote preventive care in your community by using the About Bright Futures video, presentation templates and handouts, and the online resources available from this Web site.  
  • Connect with your state child health department and your local AAP chapter or other professional organizations whose members are involved in state or local partnerships that promote healthful child activities.​