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Recommendation to reality: Closing the transcranial Doppler screening gap for children with sickle cell anemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 02;68(2):e28831



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BACKGROUND: Although annual transcranial Doppler (TCD) screening is recommended for children with sickle cell anemia (SCA), compliance is low and variable. Our objective was to utilize an electronic health record (EHR)-based registry to improve TCD adherence among children with SCA, 2-16 years of age, at our institution.

METHODS: We developed an in-EPIC real time registry for children with sickle cell disease in year 2016. Since end of year 2016, we have been extracting data quarterly to examine TCD rates and share the list of children who have not received a TCD screen in the past 18 months with the clinical team. The registry also includes a TCD risk score to enhance point of care. We also added Child Life support to increase TCD compliance among children <7 years. Control charts are used to examine TCD rates.

RESULTS: At baseline, prior to and start of quarterly data audit and feedback, 63% of children received the recommended annual TCD screen. TCD rates steadily increased to 80% by the third quarter of 2017. We observed a dip in TCD rates, driven by failure of screening young children. Since the initiation of Child Life support for children <7 years, we have sustained TCD screen rates >70%. Overall, our data meet criteria for special cause variation, indicating improvement in TCD rates since 2015.

CONCLUSIONS: Regular tracking and identification of patients overdue for a TCD screen using an EHR-based registry resulted in sustained improvement in TCD screening rates. Involvement of Child Life support further improved TCD rates.

Author List

Singh A, Danda V, Van Swol L, Scott JP, Brandow AM, Panepinto JA


Amanda Brandow DO Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
John Paul Scott MD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Ashima Singh PhD Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anemia, Sickle Cell
Child, Preschool
Patient Compliance
Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial