ACEs Screening Workflow Integration
Despite the advancing science on ACEs and toxic stress, increased interest and demand for information on ACEs screening, and greater understanding of the relationship between childhood adversity and adverse long-term health outcomes, rates of screening remain low. There also continues to be a lack of standardized and systematic approaches to early detection of ACEs.
The NPPC will provide technical support and resources, and encourage dialogue among practitioners integrating ACEs screening into their practice in order to increase screening rates.
Considerations for your practice
Given the planning, resourcing, and time constraints on providers, those planning to integrate ACE screening into clinical practice may consider the following steps and considerations as a potential model for this process:
Gain an understanding of the background and rationale for ACEs screening
- Review additional resources on ACEs and Toxic Stress
- Review the benefits of screening for ACEs in your particular setting.
Understand the context and feasibility for integrating ACEs screening into your practice setting
Elaborate your vision and goals
- Initiate discussions with supervisors/managers and senior leadership to gauge interest and possible concerns.
- Determine how the integration would work within your existing model and how it would connect to the mission and goals of your organization.
- Set short, medium and long-term goals for integration.
- Evaluate existing systems and processes to ensure compliance with state and other regulatory bodies.
- Develop plans for collecting and evaluating data to assess implementation success.
Consider your resources
- Evaluate what staffing support is needed to integrate the screening tool. For example, from an administrative perspective, screening may increase workload of staff collecting and managing the health data.
- Identify internal or external resources for patients requiring behavioral health services or other supports.
- Understand what community partnerships exist and/or must be developed to support in planning, implementation and response to the integration of screening for ACEs is essential. Warm handoffs have been known to be effective in linking primary health care and specialized services; a relatively quick turnaround time is preferred for patients to engage in special services.
- Understand what training and professional development needs are required for staff. For example, trainings on trauma-informed care, vicarious trauma, conflict resolution, and mandated reporting should be incorporated, along with consistent supervision.