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Strategy Profile: Electronic Decision Support for Pediatric Medical Providers

The information in this resource is intended only to provide educational information. This profile describes the estimated benefits, activities, resources, and leadership needed to implement a strategy to improve child health. This information can be useful for planning and prioritization purposes.

  • Promoting recognition and recommended management of obesity among children ages 6-12 through electronic decision supports for pediatric medical providers during well-child visits.

What population benefits?

Children ages 6-12 years old with obesity (BMI>95th percentile) who are being seen by primary care providers with fully-functioning electronic health records systems.

What are the estimated benefits?

Relative to not implementing the strategy
Increase nutrition and physical activity health-promoting behaviors and, as a result, promote healthy child weight.

What activities and resources are needed?

Activities Resources Who Leads?
Oversee and implement electronic decision support for pediatric medical providers • Time for health system project coordinator to develop content for website, project dissemination plan, and training materials Health system project coordinator
Modify electronic health record system to prompt providers to recognize and manage obesity at clinics • Time for electronic health record system staff to update electronic health record system Electronic health record system staff
Develop and maintain a website to share local nutrition and physical activity resources to support healthy behaviors • Time to develop and maintain the website Health system website developer
and staff
Train in motivational interviewing and electronic health system changes and provide performance feedback to primary care providers • Time for health system project coordinator and/ or electronic health records system manager to lead trainings and to provide performance feedback to primary
care providers
• Time for primary care providers to attend trainings
• Training material costs
• Food costs to offer with trainings
Health system project
coordinator, electronic health records system manager,
practice coach, and/or operations
Develop and deliver direct-to-parent communications • Time for the health systems project coordinator to develop content for communications materials for families
• Costs for printing and mailing materials
Health systems project coordinator
Additional time in clinics by primary care providers • Additional time for primary care clinicians to spend with patients in office Primary care clinicians
Material costs for primary care offices • Costs for printing posters to be displayed in primary care offices Health system
Strategy Modification

Some state and local health agencies replaced parent mailings with text messages, following a strategy modification that was shown to be effective in a research study. In the text messaging scenario, this strategy could reach children ages 2-12 and we estimate BMI would decrease (-0.3 units or about -1.24 lbs for a 9-year-old of average height). If a text messaging platform already exists in clinics, this could be less expensive than parent mailings.

Sharifi M, Franz C, Horan CM, Giles C, Long M, Ward Z, Resch S, Marshall R, Gortmaker S, Taveras E. Cost-Effectiveness of a Clinical Childhood Obesity Intervention. Pediatrics. 2017; 140(5): e20162998.

Selected CHOICES research brief including cost-effectiveness metrics:
Moreland J, Rosen J, Kraus E, Reiner J, Gortmaker S, Giles C, Ward Z. Denver: Study of Technology to Accelerate Research (STAR) {Issue Brief}. Denver Public Health and Denver Health, Denver, CO, and the CHOICES Learning Collaborative Partnership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; July 2018. Available at: https://choicesproject.org/publications/brief-star-denver

Suggested Citation

CHOICES Strategy Profile: Electronic Decision Support for Pediatric Medical Providers. CHOICES Project Team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; April 2022.


This work is supported by The JPB Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U48DP006376). The information provided here is intended to be used for educational purposes. Links to other resources and websites are intended to provide additional information aligned with this educational purpose. The findings and conclusions are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other funders.

Adapted from the TIDieR (Template for Intervention Description and Replication) Checklist

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