A Quality Improvement Initiative to Improve Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Follow-Up Rates Using School-Based Telemedicine

Published:April 12, 2021DOI:



      Patients with a new diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are prescribed stimulant medication need regular follow-up. Guidelines recommend follow-up within 30 days of stimulant initiation or change but this goal is seldom achieved. This quality improvement (QI) study in an urban academic outpatient practice aimed to: 1) assess whether use of school-based telemedicine increases rates of follow-up within 30 days and decreases the number of days to follow-up for ADHD, and 2) compare rates of 30-day follow-up via in-person vs telemedicine visits.


      We performed three Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles over a 12-month period: QI interventions included clinic wide education, paper prompts for clinicians, and creation of a database to track ADHD patients. We measured days from the index visit to the follow-up visit, and the mode of both visits (in-person or telemedicine). Data were collected for 6 months pre-intervention and 12 months post-intervention.


      Follow-up within 30 days increased from 19% (of 191 visits) to 33% (of 661 visits) (P < .001). The time to follow-up decreased from 67 to 34 days (P < .001). Follow up visits by telemedicine were more also more likely to be within 30 days (62% vs. 32%, P < .001).


      A QI intervention for ADHD care increased rates of follow-up within 30 days, particularly when telemedicine was used, and decreased the number of days to follow-up. This intervention could serve as a model to improve follow-up for ADHD in other settings.


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