1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Increasing the Use of Routine Standardized, Parent-completed Developmental Screening (RSPDS) in Louisiana (LA) Pediatric Primary Care Practice

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP)

Project Director(s):

Leslie C. Lopez, PhD, CCC/SLP
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
New Orleans, LA  70112
Phone: 504-568-4341
FAX: 504-568-4352


Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) 2006 mandate, many general pediatricians' offices continue to struggle with completing RSPDS during well-child visits. Several factors have made adopting RSPDS for early identification and referral of young children with, or at risk for, developmental delays difficult, and include barriers at the individual, organizational, and community levels. Currently, nearly 15 years post mandate, only about 50% of general pediatricians regularly use RSPDS, and the burden of completing RSPDS falls solely on pediatricians. Increasing the number of pediatric practitioners completing RSPDS at well-child visits is important nationally, but especially important in LA, where the state's Title V Action Plan has identified increasing RSPDS as a priority objective. Many young children in need of EI are not identified in a timely manner and are missing critical EI services. Training nurse practitioners (NP) to complete RSPDS at well-child visits offers a potential solution.

Goals and Objectives:

The overarching project goal is to: Increase the use of RSPDS in pediatric primary care practices in LA in order to connect young children with, or at risk for developmental delays with EI and specialty services. Goal 1: Address the needs of pediatric practice partner for implementation. Objective 1.1: Assess workflow and current referral rates to EI and specialty care services at pediatric practice partner. Objective 1.2: Develop innovative educational programming for students in LSUHSC's Pediatric and Family Medicine NP training programs, and their NP preceptors on RSPDS. Goal 2: Engage NP students and NP preceptors in implementing RSPDS at well-child visits. Objective 2.1: Administer the educational programming to NP students and NP preceptors. Objective 2.2: Track and monitor the referral rates to EI and specialty services by NP students and NP preceptors engaging in RSPDS. Goal 3: Enhance and foster longitudinal RSPDS by NP students and NP preceptors by expanding to other pediatric primary care practices in LA. Objective 3.1: Implement RSPDS in at least one other pediatric practice by the end of project.


Under the guidance of the Advisory Board, the LSUHSC developmental screening project director and project team will partner with a pediatric primary care practice in LA that provides care to an underserved community to increase the use of RSPDS at well-child visits. The LSUHSC project team will provide educational training to current NP students in Pediatric and Family Medicine specialty programs, as well as their NP preceptors employed at the pediatric primary care partner, so that they are able to implement RSPDS in accordance with the AAP and state mandates. Through the on-going training of NP students, capacity will be built to allow this project to be sustainable. NP students will continue to be monitored to ensure that they are implementing RSPDS at well-child checks after they have entered the workforce.


Partners include LA State Title V, LA American Academy of Pediatrics state chapter, LSUHSC's Allied Health and Nursing Programs, Riverside Medical Center Clinic, and the Advisory Board.


Evaluation of the project goals and objectives will be ongoing and systematic to ensure that a high performing, sustainable screening program is achieved, and state Title V pediatric developmental screening outcomes are met.