Implementing pediatric growth charts into an electronic health record system

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2006 May-Jun;13(3):302-8. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M1944. Epub 2006 Feb 24.


Electronic health record (EHR) systems are increasingly being adopted in pediatric practices; however, requirements for integrated growth charts are poorly described and are not standardized in current systems. The authors integrated growth chart functionality into an EHR system being developed and installed in a multispecialty pediatric clinic in an academic medical center. During a three-year observation period, rates of electronically documented values for weight, stature, and head circumference increased from fewer than ten total per weekday, up to 488 weight values, 293 stature values, and 74 head circumference values (p<0.001 for each measure). By the end of the observation period, users accessed the growth charts an average 175 times per weekday, compared to 127 patient visits per weekday to the sites that most closely monitored pediatric growth. Because EHR systems and integrated growth charts can manipulate data, perform calculations, and adapt to user preferences and patient characteristics, users may expect greater functionality from electronic growth charts than from paper-based growth charts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Size
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Growth*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / statistics & numerical data*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Pediatrics
  • Reference Values
  • Tennessee