Featured Practice: Goodlettsville Pediatrics – Increasing Depression Screenings to Provide Full Person Care

This week’s featured practice is Goodlettsville Pediatrics for the outstanding work they have done to increase clinical depression screenings. Because of changes they’ve implemented over these last two years, more children and young people are receiving full person care and getting crucial referrals to behavioral health providers.   

Goodlettsville Pediatrics has served children from birth to age 21 in the Middle Tennessee area for more than 30 years. They proudly provide a range of high quality primary care services and go above and beyond to ensure their patients grow healthy and have what they need to be successful in school and life.

Young people are experiencing behavioral health needs at increasing rates, especially in Tennessee which has seen marked increased in suicide rates over the last several years. Knowing that one’s mental and emotional health impacts every facet of life, Goodlettsville Pediatrics has made depression screenings a top priority. Nursing staff have been trained to administer a credentialed, age-appropriate screening questionnaire for adolescent patients. Information is available to the care team through the electronic medical records, and the in-house referral coordinator is brought in when a referral to a mental health provider is needed. When Goodlettsville Pediatrics started this process, only 13% of patients were receiving a depression screening. After just a few months that figure jumped to 90% — nearly a seven-fold increase! Screenings have remained consistently high, reaching up to 98%, an outcome that far exceeds the clinic’s own target as well as national benchmarks.       

By implementing this new protocol, Goodlettsville Pediatrics’ patients start “at home” with their own primary care provider, making these visits more convenient and comprehensive for the patient and family, and helping ensure the care team has the information they need to provide whole person care. Goodlettsville Pediatrics is making strides to increase knowledge about behavioral health needs, increase access to providers, and remove barriers to care.

For more information about Goodlettsville Pediatrics’ success, you can read their full story here. For more information about behavioral health integration, tune into “Integration that Sticks: Part 1 and Part 2of the MidSouth PTN “Best Practices” podcast.  

The views expressed in this story are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Goodlettsville Pediatrics. Additionally, this work was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, under grant number 1CMS331549-03-00. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

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