EHRs increase detection rate of growth disorders in children

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Electronic health records can help detect growth disorders in children, according to a new research letter published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study used a computerized and automated growth monitoring strategy algorithm integrated into an EHR system and compared three "control" years to an "intervention" year. An annual average of 33,029 children were screened.

The researchers found that in a control year, an average of four children were diagnosed with a growth disorder; in the intervention year 28 new diagnoses were made among 32,404 children. The rate of growth disorder diagnosis was 0.1 per 1,000 screened children in a control year versus 0.9 per 1,000 screened children in the intervention year. With a higher rate of detection, more children can be diagnosed and referred to specialized treatment sooner. Letter