Health Supervision and Clinical Practice Guidelines

Keeping track of the most current, evidence-based guidelines can be a challenge for busy clinicians. The following guidelines are relevant to primary care of many children with special health care needs. The Diagnoses & Conditions modules in the Medical Home Portal identify key guidelines for specific conditions.

Clinical Guidelines for All Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Health supervision and clinical practice guidelines typically are developed and/or adopted by national organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), expert working groups, or other knowledgeable bodies. These organizations periodically review and update the guidelines or decide to stop using them if they are no longer the standard of care (or if resources are lacking to update them).
Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents
Health supervision guidelines provide anticipatory guidance and recommendations for pediatric health promotion at well-child visits for patients ages 0-21 years old. The AAP compiles these evidence-based standards into a comprehensive resource known as Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision, 4th Edition (AAP). The 4th edition was published in February 2017. The materials include print and electronic books as well as a free to download Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule (AAP) (PDF Document 119 KB) and Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision - Pocket Guide, 4th Edition (AAP) (PDF Document 5.1 MB).
Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines and Policies 17th ed
Clinical practice guidelines provide an evidence-based framework for clinical decisions and include recommendations for optimizing patient care. The Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines & Policies, 17th Edition (AAP) is a book that is periodically updated and endorsed by the AAP. The 17th edition was published 2017. The book includes practice guidelines for many diagnoses ranging from autism spectrum disorder to urinary tract infections. It also contains policies ranging from addressing early childhood emotional and behavioral problems to preventing obesity.

Practice Guidelines for Children with Special Health Care Needs

AAP-endorsed practice guidelines can assist primary care providers in caring for children with special health care needs. Some of these are cross-cutting, looking at practice models to implement team-based care and patient- and family-centered medical home models, whereas others are specific to a certain medical or genetic condition.
Guidelines for specific conditions can be found in each of the Portal's Diagnoses & Conditions modules by selecting a condition name from the list and scrolling to the Practice Guidelines section of the module.
The following are particularly relevant to the overall care of the child or adolescent with special health care needs:
  • Council on Children with Disabilities.
    Care coordination in the medical home: integrating health and related systems of care for children with special health care needs.
    Pediatrics. 2005;116(5):1238-44. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    AAP policy that helps primary care clinicians connect children and their families with appropriate services and resources in a coordinated effort to achieve good health.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities.
    A consensus statement on health care transitions for young adults with special health care needs.
    Pediatrics. 2002;110(6 Pt 2):1304-6. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    A policy statement providing guidance on how to seamlessly transition services for young adults to adult health care providers to best optimize function for the individual with special health care needs.

  • Kuo DZ, Houtrow AJ.
    Recognition and Management of Medical Complexity.
    Pediatrics. 2016;138(6). PubMed abstract / Full Text
    A clinical report that provides guidance for primary care clinicians to optimize care and decrease utilization costs for children with special health care needs.

  • Adams RC, Tapia C.
    Early intervention, IDEA Part C services, and the medical home: collaboration for best practice and best outcomes.
    Pediatrics. 2013;132(4):e1073-88. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    Published in 2013 and reaffirmed in August 2017, this clinical report provides information for primary care providers about early intervention services and optimal partnership and referrals.

  • Murphy NA, Carbone PS.
    Parent-provider-community partnerships: optimizing outcomes for children with disabilities.
    Pediatrics. 2011;128(4):795-802. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    Published in October 2011 and reaffirmed in August 2017, this clinical report details the policy regarding optimal partnership among the primary care medical home, the family, and communities to address the mufti-faceted needs of children with chronic and complex conditions.

  • Elias ER, Murphy NA.
    Home care of children and youth with complex health care needs and technology dependencies.
    Pediatrics. 2012;129(5):996-1005. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    An AAP clinical report, reaffirmed in 2017, which discusses topics for families and providers to consider when transitioning a child from the hospital to home.

  • Percelay JM.
    Physicians' roles in coordinating care of hospitalized children.
    Pediatrics. 2003;111(3):707-9. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    Revised in 2010 and reaffirmed in August 2017, this clinical report details the policy regarding optimal partnership among the primary care medical home and subspecialists involved in inpatient care of a sick child.

  • Committee on Hospital Care.
    Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice Care Commitments, Guidelines, and Recommendations.
    Pediatrics. 2013;132(5):966-972. PubMed abstract / Full Text
    AAP policy for pediatric palliative and hospice care with guidance for primary care clinicians about end of life care.

  • National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.
    Clinical practice guidelines for quality palliative care.
    2013; https://www.nationalcoalitionhpc.org/ncp-guidelines-2013/
    Clinical practice guidelines to formalize and delineate the provisions of high-quality community-based palliative care for adults, children, and families living with serious, chronic illness; endorsed March 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Resources

Information & Support

For Professionals

American Academy of Pediatrics Publications Search for Guidelines and Policies (AAP)
A search engine to identify clinical practice guidelines, health supervision guidelines, clinical reports, and other policies published or endorsed by the AAP.

National Guideline Clearinghouse (HHS)
Summaries of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for adults and children; maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Council on Children with Disabilities (AAP)
A list of policies pertaining to the care of children with disabilities; American Academy of Pediatrics.

Neurological Health Policy (AAP)
A compilation of policy statements and guidelines that include topics such as seizures, cerebral palsy, autism, ADHD, and head injury: American Academy of Pediatrics.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Practice Parameters (AACAP)
Clinical practice guidelines for child mental health, which include topics such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, use of psychotropic medications, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth issues.

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Practice Guidelines (ACMG)
Screening and genetic testing guidelines and algorithms for a variety of genetic conditions.

American Academy of Neurology Child Neurology Practice Guidelines (AAN)
A compilation of practice guidelines for a variety of congenital and acquired neurological conditions affecting children, including headaches, epilepsy, concussion, cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, and sudden hearing loss.

Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines & Policies, 17th Edition (AAP)
Published in 2017, this book includes practice guidelines for many diagnoses ranging from autism spectrum disorder to urinary tract infections. It also contains policies ranging from addressing early childhood emotional and behavioral problems to preventing obesity. The 17th edition was published in 2017 and is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision - Pocket Guide, 4th Edition (AAP) (PDF Document 5.1 MB)
A uniform set of recommendations for health care professionals that highlights 12 child health topics and contains an abbreviated version for healthy child visits; American Academy of Pediatrics.

Authors

Content Last Updated: 11/2017

Page Bibliography

Adams RC, Tapia C.
Early intervention, IDEA Part C services, and the medical home: collaboration for best practice and best outcomes.
Pediatrics. 2013;132(4):e1073-88. PubMed abstract / Full Text
Published in 2013 and reaffirmed in August 2017, this clinical report provides information for primary care providers about early intervention services and optimal partnership and referrals.

American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities.
A consensus statement on health care transitions for young adults with special health care needs.
Pediatrics. 2002;110(6 Pt 2):1304-6. PubMed abstract / Full Text
A policy statement providing guidance on how to seamlessly transition services for young adults to adult health care providers to best optimize function for the individual with special health care needs.

Committee on Hospital Care.
Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice Care Commitments, Guidelines, and Recommendations.
Pediatrics. 2013;132(5):966-972. PubMed abstract / Full Text
AAP policy for pediatric palliative and hospice care with guidance for primary care clinicians about end of life care.

Council on Children with Disabilities.
Care coordination in the medical home: integrating health and related systems of care for children with special health care needs.
Pediatrics. 2005;116(5):1238-44. PubMed abstract / Full Text
AAP policy that helps primary care clinicians connect children and their families with appropriate services and resources in a coordinated effort to achieve good health.

Elias ER, Murphy NA.
Home care of children and youth with complex health care needs and technology dependencies.
Pediatrics. 2012;129(5):996-1005. PubMed abstract / Full Text
An AAP clinical report, reaffirmed in 2017, which discusses topics for families and providers to consider when transitioning a child from the hospital to home.

Kuo DZ, Houtrow AJ.
Recognition and Management of Medical Complexity.
Pediatrics. 2016;138(6). PubMed abstract / Full Text
A clinical report that provides guidance for primary care clinicians to optimize care and decrease utilization costs for children with special health care needs.

Murphy NA, Carbone PS.
Parent-provider-community partnerships: optimizing outcomes for children with disabilities.
Pediatrics. 2011;128(4):795-802. PubMed abstract / Full Text
Published in October 2011 and reaffirmed in August 2017, this clinical report details the policy regarding optimal partnership among the primary care medical home, the family, and communities to address the mufti-faceted needs of children with chronic and complex conditions.

National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.
Clinical practice guidelines for quality palliative care.
2013; https://www.nationalcoalitionhpc.org/ncp-guidelines-2013/
Clinical practice guidelines to formalize and delineate the provisions of high-quality community-based palliative care for adults, children, and families living with serious, chronic illness; endorsed March 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Percelay JM.
Physicians' roles in coordinating care of hospitalized children.
Pediatrics. 2003;111(3):707-9. PubMed abstract / Full Text
Revised in 2010 and reaffirmed in August 2017, this clinical report details the policy regarding optimal partnership among the primary care medical home and subspecialists involved in inpatient care of a sick child.