How Georgia is implementing Bright Futures

Training: In November 2010, after several meetings with the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (GAAAP), the Georgia Department of Community Health, which establishes policy for Health Check—Georgia’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program—adopted the 2008 Bright Futures/AAP Periodicity Schedule for well-child visits with the exclusion of prenatal visits and visits for patients older than age 21. Since then, GAAAP has organized training events for child health care professionals to integrate the Bright Futures Guidelines within both the state’s Medicaid program and pediatric offices throughout Georgia. In addition, GAAAP established a Bright Futures task force, which is chaired by Nicky Chin, MD, FAAP.

The task force established educational materials for local pediatric grand rounds and individual practices. The in-office training sessions on Bright Futures topics, with the option for additional in-person follow-up trainings, offer an overview of the universal and selective screenings established within the Bright Futures/AAP Periodicity Schedule and review the Previsit Questionnaires, Visit Documentation Forms, and Parent/Patient Education Handouts. The chapter uses newsletters and announcements on its Web site to promote these sessions, which are free for chapter members. Sessions are conducted by either Dr. Chin or GAAAP staff. Pre- and post-tests are administered during the trainings to measure the effectiveness of the presentations. The events involve staff members in the entire medical office, rather than just the pediatrician, and typically include examples of screening tools and a walkthrough of an 18-month well-child visit that illustrates activities to be completed during the visit.

Dr. Chin has presented information on Bright Futures and the Periodicity Schedule in pediatric resident programs and has recorded a Webinar presentation for local health department staffs. As the Health Check program prepares to adopt the 2014 Periodicity Schedule into its processes, GAAAP anticipates providing more training sessions to all stakeholders.

Promotion: GAAAP seeks opportunities to promote the Bright Futures Guidelines and tools and encourages health care professionals to implement Bright Futures recommendations as part of a medical home model of care. For instance, the medical screening table is frequently shared with pediatric care providers at events like the annual meetings of the Georgia Pediatric Nurse Association and the Georgia Pediatric Practice Management Association. GAAAP also promotes and shares Bright Futures resources with staff from other state offices that deal with children’s health, such as the Department of Early Care and Learning, the Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Head Start program.


Georgia AAP Chapter

For more information about maternal and child health activities in your state, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration's Web site to find local contact information for the Maternal and Child Health and Children With Special Health Care Needs representatives.