Conflicting guidelines regarding universal pediatric cholesterol screening were released between 2011 and 2019, but the impact on screening rates remains understudied. The purpose of this study was to examine trends in pediatric cholesterol screening rates within a single institution in the United States and their association with release of national guidelines, local educational tools, and electronic health record (EHR) modifications. Order placement was defined as ordering a high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level in a patient aged 9-21 years with ≥1 well visit in prior 3 years. Order placement rate (OPR) was calculated per month using 3 months’ moving average smoothing and analyzed based on date, patient age, and specialty of ordering clinician. Timing of educational tools, EHR modifications, and national guideline release were analyzed for changes in OPR. Prior to release of 2011 guidelines recommending universal pediatric cholesterol screening, pediatrician OPR was 35% (95% CI: 29-43%) compared to 8% (7-11%) for family physicians. For both specialties, OPR increased after 2011 guidelines, educational initiatives, and EHR changes, but decreased after 2016, with a larger decrease for family physicians (p < 0.001 for all). OPR was consistently higher for pediatricians than for family physicians during the study period, with largest OPR changes correlating with release of guidelines. The findings from the study suggest that conflicting guidelines may contribute to lower overall OPR, and to different screening rates for children cared for by pediatricians compared to family physicians.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.