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Systems to increase the delivery of preventive care

Narrator:        This is Science Today. Adolescent preventive care in the medical setting is critical, but teens are not visiting their doctor often enough, and when they do, very little time is spent screening these patients. Dr. Charles Irwin, Jr., director of the University of California, San Francisco's Division of Adolescent Medicine, has worked for years to train providers to increase the delivery of preventive care.

Irwin:              Everybody wants to do a better job. But they all feel overwhelmed. What do I do if I ask these questions? What kind of information do I give to young people? Are there referral systems, etc. So we came in and we actually ran a one day education session and then we developed some algorithms for them, so how they could screen quickly. We develop questions that went on their forms, we gave them advice messages that they should be giving to their young people and then we actually met with them over the course of a year and it was amazing to us to see providers going from screening less than half of their patients to screening about ninety percent of their patients. So they really are capable of doing it. It's that the systems aren't in place in practice to do it well.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.