Increasing Suicide Screening in a Pediatric Primary Care Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project

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Cooper, Elizabeth
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2024-05-09
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Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to implement the use of the ASQ Toolkit and clinical pathway to identify and make referrals for adolescents at risk for suicide in a pediatric primary care clinic setting. Background: Mental health in adolescents is a rising concern in the U.S., with 4.1 million adolescents reported having major depressive episodes, and only 41.6% seeking care. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15–24-year-olds in the U.S. Half of adolescents that committed suicide were seen by a provider within four weeks of their death. Population: Two pediatric nurse practitioners, one physician assistant, and two medical assistants in a pediatric in primary care clinic. Methods: The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) toolkit was utilized by administering the PHQ-9 and ASQ for adolescents ages 12 and above at well child visits upon arrival to the exam room Upon review by the best next steps were determined with the assistance of the NIMH pathway. An updated referral and resource list was also created. Results: Over an 8-week period, 48 of 49 patients were screened with both the PHQ-9 and ASQ. 6 or 7 high scoring patients were given referrals or resources. 12 patients were given resources or referrals for mental health care. All of the patients were properly billed and coded in the EHR. Staff satisfaction was high amongst all providers as a way to streamline care and have supportive guidelines.
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University
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