Early Intervention Referral Information, Transmission, and Sources - A Survey of State Part C Coordinators and Analysis of Referral Forms

Benjamin Sanders, Katharine E. Zuckerman, Joan Ash, Avi J. Kopstick, Luis Rivas Vazquez, Paul N. Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ABSTRACT:Objective:Early Intervention (EI) referral is a key connector between health care and early childhood systems serving children with developmental risks. This study aimed to describe the US network of EI referrals by answering the following: "What information is sent to EI?", "Who sends it?", and "How is it sent?"Method:This study combined an analysis of national document-based and website-based referral forms with a survey of state Part C Coordinators (PCCs). Data on referral forms were systematically collected from state agency websites. PCCs from 52 jurisdictions were surveyed to assess current EI referral practices. Descriptive statistics were used for responses to multiple-choice items; free-text answers were condensed into key study themes.Results:EI referral forms came as e-documents (81%) or websites (35%), and 72% were in English alone. They emphasized family and referral source contact information and reason for the referral. The survey results indicated that health care (45%) sends the most referrals, followed by families (30%). EI agencies received referrals by phone (38%), electronically (23%), e-mail (17%), and fax (17%), and PCCs valued this diversity of methods. Few states received referral data directly from electronic health records (EHRs); however, PCCs hope to eventually receive referrals through websites, mobile devices, and EHRs.Conclusion:EI referral data flow is complex, with opportunities for loss of children to follow-up. This study describes how EI referrals occur and provides examples of how communication and access to information may be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E153-E161
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Keywords

  • Early Intervention
  • health inequity
  • information technology
  • referral and consultation
  • surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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