Bring Everyone On Board

When you introduce the idea of performing validated screening, the first issue you will likely have to deal with is a reluctant staff. At CHB, staff resistance to a validated screening program was initially high, with the most common arguments against it being:

  • lack of time to implement an additional procedure
  • impression that existing identification methods are adequate
  • screeners were perceived as replacing clinical judgment

Communication was the key to overcoming this reluctance. Among other things, we introduced screening on a trial basis and actively solicited staff feedback throughout the implementation, asking questions such as “What would make this easier for you?” We incorporated feedback into the practice flow and, within a matter of weeks, staff reluctance virtually disappeared.

If you are introducing an autism screener in addition to a developmental screener, be sure to state the AAP Policy recommendations regarding autism screening.