Point-of-care (POC) blood testing for a number of conditions, including hyperlipidemia, anemia, and diabetes is becoming increasingly popular in primary care settings due to its convenience, the opportunity to provide immediate guidance and treatment to patients, and its relative non-invasiveness. These factors make it attractive for screening for cardiovascular risks in children. POC cholesterol testing devices require only a small blood sample obtained through a fingerstick (less traumatic for children). Results are available within five minutes, and can be used to provide advice about lifestyle changes and other treatments and follow-up. Cholesterol screening is recommended for children with overweight or obesity, hypertension, diabetes, history of smoking or a positive or unknown family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease. Ideally, screening should be completed between the ages of 2 and 10. Despite the availability of guidelines for cardiovascular risk screening including lipid screening, screening infrequently takes place. The purpose of the proposed research is to systematically introduce POC cholesterol testing devices to a small number of pediatrics and family medicine practices, and evaluate their impact upon appropriate screening for high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) among children.
The objective of this project is threefold:
- To engage lead physicians and practice managers from 3 pediatrics and 3 family medicine practices in a committee for the purposes of educating members about lipid screening in children, and discussing ways to incorporate screening with Cholestech-LDX devices while minimally disrupting workflow.
- To introduce the devices to the six practices, and to monitor their impact upon screening for cholesterol among children through the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW).
- To develop and administer a survey to parents whose children have had screening to determine whether they found the screening process useful, and whether it led to any significant changes in their child’s or family’s lifestyle.