Why Asking Teens the Right Questions Matters

Nearly half of all youth who commit suicide visited a healthcare provider within the previous month. Mental health risks (depression, anger management, being bullied, having thoughts of suicide or self-harm) now rank higher than drug, alcohol and tobacco use among youth. With more than 8000 completed RAAPS screenings, Triangle Pediatrics, a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized, patient-centered medical home in Cary, NC, knows just how important it is to ask the right questions when it comes to serving their adolescent patients.

There are a lot of things in a physical or well visit you might have to talk about.  RAAPS gives the doctors a starting point of what’s important for each teen; it helps them tailor and focus the visit to use their time with the patient more effectively.  It has been successful in identifying really important risks and in learning things we wouldn’t have before. We’ve been screening with RAAPS for so many years now that it’s become the new normal; it just ‘is.’ And the doctors really appreciate having all of the questions – and more truthful answers,” shared Cyndi Kirchhoff, RN, Triage Manager.

How it Looks in Practice

An effective workflow can drive adoption and enable sustainable utilization over time.  So how exactly does Triangle Pediatrics complete so many RAAPS?

  1. Right now we have two computer kiosks set up, off to the side in a private area away from the waiting room,” explained Cyndi. “The day before an appointment, as part of their daily activities, the front-desk staff log into RAAPS and sets up any patients over the age of 13 who have a well-visit scheduled the next day.
  2. When the teen checks in, the front staff asks the parent to have a seat in the waiting room and takes the teen to a station and logs them in. Once RAAPS is complete the teens are logged out and they return to the waiting area.
  3. The physician previews the results. Then once they are in the room one-on-one with the patient, they go over the positive responses and capture any comments in the RAAPS system. A PDF of the survey results and clinician notes are pulled electronically into the practice EMR after the appointment.”

The Results?

RAAPS reports reveal impressive outcomes across Triangle Pediatrics with this approach.  Results of youth patients seen two years in a row, who identified risks and received physician counseling and referrals when needed, revealed a reduction in one year’s time in all identified risks.  Most notably there has been a significant reduction in risks related to mental health issues.

Check out the full case study to learn more about Triangle Pediatrics’ success. Give youth the means to disclose risk before it is too late and get started screening with RAAPS at your organization, contact us today at info@pos4chg.org.

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