A Practical Guide for Healthy Development

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The materials in A Practical Guide are organized as modules that can be used individually or together. Each module provides guidance, information, and activities designed to help you apply the strategies described. Though a formal process of practice self-examination and thoughtful planning, practices can identify areas needing improvement and implement change that will ensure that services provided to families are timely and appropriate.

A Practical Guide focuses on how to develop systems and strategies that will help clinicians implement the recommendations of Bright Futures, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other experts, based on families' needs. An "Improvement Checklist" is provided within each module to suggest activities you can use to implement a change successfully. You may notice some items are repeated on the various checklists. This repetition is intentional so that the "Improvement Checklists" can "stand alone" as a guide for a particular topic. Likewise, at the end of each module's "Improvement Checklist" are suggested ways to monitor your practices's progress toward the development of office systems, tools, and tips for soliciting staff and parent input, and recommended intervals for conducting such activities.

Information obtained from periodic monitoring (i.e., annually) of your practice can be used to inform longer term planning of future changes you may want to try in your office setting. Undertaking the changes described can be challenging. However, a wide array of practices—small and large, rural and urban—have successfully implemented the strategies and tools described here. These practices have confidence that they are providing high quality, comprehensive care to all their patients.

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