Differences in Pediatric Residents' Social Needs Screening Practices Across Health Care Settings.
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<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all pediatricians screen for social determinants of health to identify families in need and connect them to available resources. We examined pediatric residents' screening practices for social needs in different clinical settings and explored the influence of electronic health record (EHR) prompts on screening.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>In this cross-sectional study, pediatric residents participated in a brief electronic survey assessing (1) screening practices for unmet social needs and (2) perceived barriers to and facilitators of routine screening in the inpatient and outpatient settings. The differences in screening by care setting were assessed by using Fisher's exact test. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine the association between EHR prompts and resident screening practices.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Ninety-two pediatric residents (64% of the residency program) responded to the survey. Respondents reported significantly higher rates of social needs screening in the outpatient as compared with the inpatient setting (98% vs 37%; < .001). Residents cited time constraints, lack of knowledge about available resources, and discomfort with screening questions as barriers to screening in both settings. Residents were more likely to screen for social needs when screening questions were embedded in the EHR (odds ratio = 9.6; 95% confidence interval: 6.7-13.9).</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Pediatric residents were more likely to screen for unmet social needs in the outpatient than in the inpatient setting despite reporting similar barriers to screening in both settings. EHR-based social needs screening templates could be used to increase rates of screening and reach additional families in need.</p>