Leveraging Patient Tools During COVID (Interview with Dr. Barbara Howard)

During our last few webinars, I’ve spoken about ways to engage with your patients in order to improve visit volume as well as the clinical impact of those visits. I think we are all particularly interested in how to make telemedicine visits more efficient and effective (@drunachukwu even posted about it almost 3 weeks ago already!).

I’m also (clearly, I hope) passionate about eliminating the lost opportunities right now to visit with your patients, virtually or otherwise. I know everyone here has seen our vaccine data, but I’m just as worried about the tens of thousands of teenagers who have gone without prescribed depression screening the last few weeks (could it be more than a million?). You can follow my through process on my blog about “Why and How Pediatric Practices Should Launch a Recall Initiative Today.”

That train of thought led me to Dr. Barbara Howard. She is the Queen Of Behavioral Health (that’s a title, right?). I asked her, “Hey, are there clinical tools available to pediatricians that might help improve the volume, quality, and efficiency of pediatric visits right now? Even using telemedicine?”

I’m not joking - she sent me a slide deck like 8 hours later.

I made the time to sit down with her and have her walk us through what pediatricians can do now to engage with their patients, to identify patients who may need more and specific help, and to make that process easier and faster. I am very grateful for her time here and encourage everyone to take the time to hear her suggestions. Even just her comments about learning how to make the visit faster in order to reduce the time patients spend in your office are worthwhile.

You can watch and listen to her here.

You can read her handout here (1.5 MB) .


Wow! Thank you so much for doing this Chip and Dr. Howard!

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Thank you. We have been using CHADIS for 3+ years now and feel that it is money well-spent. I especially like that there is a visual comparison of ADD symptoms and I share the screen on a telehealth visit. The ASQ gives more objectivity to the developmental assessment and helps the well visits go more smoothly.

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@Chip @bhoward Thank you for this post! Based on previous webinars, we have been focusing on our “Recall Culture” meaning that we have

  • Run lists to identify patients with anxiety, depression, and ADHD diagnoses who have not been seen in the last 90 days to see if they needed an appointment- we have been asking clinicians and social work care manager to review so that the person calling the family can say “Dr X reviewed your chart and would like you to schedule a telemedicine visit.”

  • Incorporated PHQ9, GAD-7, and Vanderbilt Follow Up into our online check in process so that those screening tools are scored and in the chart before the visit begins.

And thank you for capturing what is so important about all that pre-visit data collection- our mantra “Every SIck Visit Starts as a Telemedicine Visit” is inspired partially by the idea that we can better prepare for the in person portion and limit the time spent in the office if we complete the first part of the visit remotely. Thank you for articulating so clearly what we have been thinking! It will help us explain what we are trying to do to the team!

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This is exactly we we posted this video. I hope everyone takes the time to watch and embrace the concept!

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