eHealth Innovation Profile: Behavioral Health & Pediatrics

Using Technology to Connect Providers, Patients and Families

Behavioral Health & Pediatrics: 
Using Technology to Connect Provider , Patients and Families

Twin City Pediatrics  l  Winston-Salem, NC

It is well known that the integration of primary care and behavioral health is critical to improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs, especially with a staggering 25% of the U.S. population affected by mental illness. Oftentimes, patients can delay seeking necessary care for several reasons – they lack access to specialized mental health services, are not aware of their illness, or are affected by the stigma still associated with mental illness. As a result, nearly 60% of those who do receive treatment for mental illness will seek those services in a primary care setting.

Recognizing the importance and value of filling this gap in care, many primary care practices have taken the initial steps toward integrating behavioral health and primary care by redesigning their care delivery model. The most common integration strategies include:

  • Screening for mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, etc;
  • Developing clear, feasible paths to treat common conditions;
  • Developing care coordination guidelines to refer patients to specialists; and
  • Including mental health staff on care teams to assist with screening, counseling, and care coordination.

In this eHealth Innovation Profile, the PCPCC presents a story from Twin City Pediatrics (“Twin City”) located in Winston-Salem, NC; a group of three pediatric practices that have leveraged eHealth and care team strategies to improve the care experience for patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Using the medical home philosophy as a framework, Twin City’s care team has evolved to include care coordinators with mental health expertise, and adopted patient registries, risk stratification, and a patient portal to proactively manage patients and communicate effectively with parents and caregivers.

The Twin City story is an exemplary case of how pediatric health professionals can be instrumental in detecting and treating mental illness at an early age, while providing a supportive and comfortable environment for patients and families.

Additional Resources

For more information and resources visit PCPCC’s Behavioral Health Special Interest Group.
Go to top