Digital world advances during COVID-19


As the world has changed because of coronavirus disease 2019, the digital world has kept pace with ever-changing best practices and guideline updates.

As we reflect on the past year of living within the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, adjusting to the day-to-day demands on the entire spectrum of our lives has been overwhelming for many individuals, families, communities, as well as how to best provide individual health care and manage health care delivery systems. However, several positive changes have occurred including, most notably, the rapid development and delivery of efficacious vaccines to fight this pandemic, and the reduction in normal pathogens that notoriously adversely affect the pediatric (and adult) populations (eg, prevalence of respiratory pathogens, influenza, asthma, pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus, etc) that provide insight to the need for public health measures to better control these illnesses. Additionally, the remarkable delivery of education and continuing education materials through significant improvements from our pre-COVID-19 digital world to the fast forward one-year later digital world has been amazing. Contemporary Pediatrics is an exemplar of significant positive change in the availability of high-quality continuing educational materials readily available to the busy pediatrician and pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP).

Have you noticed the changes?

Continuing educational materials are easily available via hyperlinks throughout the journal. For example, in the March 2021 edition of Contemporary Pediatrics, there’s a link on page 8 to the Physician Educational Resources (PER) session entitled Severe asthma throughout the ages as well as a link on page 14 to an entire collection of puzzling cases.

Scannable QR codes are also available for selected articles that, once scanned via a smartphone, offer additional information on a related topic.

For visual learners, there is a noticeable increase in the number of organized tables and diagrams that provide cognitive organization of the most important principles in the article.

Article citations are also available via a clickable link for each article in the journal.

Comments are welcomed from readers with easy access to emails for the Senior Editor and the Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Pediatrics.

In summary, I highly recommend using all of the digital tools available in each edition of the Contemporary Pediatrics journal to meet continuing educational needs.

Clinical guidelines and guidance

Keeping up to date with changes in clinical practices guidelines and guidance from many sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and other national pediatric organizations has been especially challenging throughout this pandemic. We all know that what is considered best practices today, may not be best practices tomorrow based on emerging scientific evidence, in particular related to COVID-19. Contemporary Pediatrics offers access not only to summaries of clinical practice guidelines but also to evolving and significant changes in the guidelines and national guidance not only in the journal but also in a special section on its website.

Best practices for managing care in the world of COVID-19

In the March 2021 edition of Contemporary Pediatrics, many of the articles written by content experts discuss content relevant to managing the child through a COVID-19 lens. For example, Drs. Jones and Wright offer a quick refresher on seasonal allergies that will enable providers to consider diagnoses of seasonal allergies and/or COVID-19 presentations.

Drs. Chowdhury, Briskin, and Synder discuss sports for adolescents and children who have recovered from COVID-19. This article is so relevant for PNPs in school-based health centers who perform pre-participation sport physicals or make decisions about children and adolescents’ participation in gym classes.

Managing mental health has taken center stage in child and adolescent health care during this pandemic. The need for an additional focus on integration of mental health best practices in pediatric primary care is a critical step in the recovery processes post COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tina Tan, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS, editor in chief, Contemporary Pediatrics, professor of pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, pediatric infectious diseases attending, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
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