News at Medicine - July 2014 - Essential tool for physicians helps improve care of babies and children

Essential tool for physicians helps improve care of babies and children
July 3, 2014
The 2014 edition of the Rourke Baby Record (RBR) was released June 25 at the Canadian Paediatric Society’s (CPS) annual conference. The Rourke Baby Record is Canada’s leading knowledge translation tool, guiding health professionals with evidence-based information for efficient and effective well-child care. Research has shown that use of the RBR system for babies and children up to five years of age is associated with more comprehensive care.
 “The Rourke Baby Record has become the gold standard for comprehensive, age-specific visits for paediatricians and family physicians across Canada who provide primary care for infants and young children,” said Dr. Andrew Lynk, president of the CPS.
This latest edition of the RBR builds on the large knowledge base of its predecessors and brings significant changes and additions to its core health supervision topics. For health professionals, these include the physical exam and up-to- date immunization recommendations, as well as growth monitoring, nutrition assessment and developmental surveillance. The RBR and its associated resources for health professionals and parents also give guidance on common health issues and parental concerns such as injury prevention, environmental health, and behaviour and family issues.
“It has long been recognized that early child development and experiences, both positive and negative, affect not only future learning, but also physical, mental, and emotional health throughout life,” said Dr. Denis Leduc, one of the authors of the Rourke Baby Record and a past president of the CPS. 
“Preventive care and health supervision for infants and children in the first few years of life are an essential component for healthy child development and future health outcomes,” said Dr. Leduc.
Endorsed by the CPS, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and Dietitians of Canada, the RBR is available in English and French, and is increasingly becoming incorporated into electronic medical records. It has been adapted for different locations and health care systems, including Ontario, Nunavut, and a variety of health care regions.
The principal investigators are Drs. Leslie Rourke, Denis Leduc, and James Rourke. Drs. Leslie and James Rourke are family physicians and professors in family medicine at Memorial University.  Denis Leduc is a community pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics at McGill University in Montreal. They have collaborated with epidemiologists Patricia Li, Bruno Riverin, Evelyn Constantin and colleagues, to ensure that the RBR is evidence-informed and current.
The CPS provides extensive input and expertise through its network of sections and committees. Dietitians of Canada have endorsed the 2014 RBR and provided significant input into the nutrition guidelines. Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine provides academic and technical support including hosting the RBR website: The Government of Ontario has provided the essential ongoing project funding since 2005 that has enabled the RBR to be updated to keep abreast of the ever evolving evidence.
"When we developed the initial RBR for our rural medical practice in 1979, we could not have even dreamed that this would develop into such a national collaborative project that has impacted so many children, “said Dr. Leslie Rourke.
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From left: Drs. James Rourke, Leslie Rourke and Denis Leduc.