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Practice-based intervention improves quality of care for young children

nted in additional sites across the country," the authors conclude. (JAMA. 2003;290:3081-3091. Available post-embargo at JAMA.com)

Editor's Note: The Healthy Steps for Young Children Program is a program of The Commonwealth Fund, local funders, and health care providers across the nation. It is cosponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Funding for the Healthy Steps National Evaluation is being provided by The Commonwealth Fund and local funders.

EDITORIAL: OPTIMIZING THE HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN

In an accompanying editorial, Neal Halfon, M.D., M.P.H., and Moira Inkelas, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, discuss the Healthy Steps program.

"What is important about Healthy Steps, ... is that it provides important evidence that by changing the structure and process of pediatric care, performance in the delivery of pediatric developmental services can be improved significantly," they write. "Healthy Steps is also important because it not only focuses on processes within the pediatric practice, but it changes the connections of the pediatric practice to parents outside of the office and reduces important barriers to the provision of certain services."

"Improving the health, development, and education of young children requires transformations in the health system, such as Healthy Steps has done, but also requires improvements in education, family support, and the neighborhoods in which children grow up. Given the promising results of the Healthy Steps evaluation and the emergence of other complementary interventions and approaches to improvement, it is important to consider a more integrated and population-based strategy to improving early childhood health," the editorialists write. "The tradeoffs in health care expenditures between early childhood and end of life will become even more acute and significant as the baby boom generation ages and consum
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Contact: Tim Parsons
410-955-7619
JAMA and Archives Journals
16-Dec-2003


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