University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA
Julie A Lindenberg is a Family Nurse Practitioner. Her academic degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Delaware, a Master of Science in Nursing from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Columbia University where she received the Macy Foundation Scholarship. She is working as an Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing at UTHealth in Houston for 23 years. She has served as a Clinical Quality Manager for RediClinic and as Director of The University of Texas Health Services.
Evidence suggests that adolescents do not return for recommended yearly wellness exams, unless prompted. This creates a missed opportunity for providers to coordinate a medical home and to help reduce risky behaviors in teenagers. Identified barriers to use medical homes among families with adolescents age 11-18 include obstacles to scheduling or keeping appointments, which include: lack of cooperation from teen, parental work conflicts, child care needs, lack of transportation, and lack of night and weekend appointment availability. These issues of accessibility can be addressed via various health communication innovations and technologies, including a comprehensive patient information portal, electronic messaging access to the health care provider and family centred internet and video health information resources. Other impediments to adolescent wellness care include continuity of care, comprehensive care, and coordination of care issues, which can be approached technologically with patient appointment and referral tracking systems and a comprehensive electronic risk assessment software. By implementing the above operational and scheduling strategies, primary care providers of adolescents can reduce barriers to use of the medical home, improve outreach to the teen and his/her family, and, ultimately improve adolescent wellness by ensuring that the patient stay connected to a medical home.
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