Implementation of a standardized oral screening tool by paediatric cardiologists

Shelley I. McCargar, Joanne Olsen, Robert J. Steelman, Jennifer H. Huang, Elizabeth A. Palmer, Grant H. Burch, Richard Reed, Sara K. Labarge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: An examination of invasive procedure cancellations found that the lack of pre-procedural oral screening was a preventable cause, for children with congenital heart disease. The purpose of this study was to implement an oral screening tool within the paediatric cardiology clinic, with referral to paediatric dental providers for positive screens. The target population were children aged ≥6 months to <18 years old, being referred for cardiac procedures. Methods: The quality implementation framework method was used for this study design. The multi-modal intervention included education, audit and feedback, screening guidelines, environmental support, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Baseline rates for oral screenings were determined by retrospective chart audit from January 2018 to January 2019 (n = 211). Provider adherence to the oral screening tool was the outcome measure. Positive oral screens, resulting in referral to the paediatric dental clinic, were measured as a secondary outcome. Provider adherence rates were used as a process measure. Results: Data collected over 14 weeks showed a 29% increase in documentation of oral screenings prior to referral, as compared to the retrospective chart audit. During the study period, 13% of completed screenings were positive (n = 5). Provider compliance for the period was averaged at 70% adherence. Conclusion: A substantial increase in pre-procedural oral screenings by paediatric cardiologists was achieved using the quality implementation framework and targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1820
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in the young
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Congenital heart diseases
  • bacterial
  • endocarditis
  • oral health
  • physicians
  • practice patterns
  • preventative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Implementation of a standardized oral screening tool by paediatric cardiologists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this