Lead Poisoning

Case Study: Identifying Child Lead Poisoning Risk


AllianceChicago is helping identify child lead poisoning risk using a first-of-its-kind clinical decision support tool, Lead Safe API, that helps identify young children at risk of lead exposure by leveraging multi-sector data. Lead Safe recently won the 2018 Milbank Memorial Fund and AcademyHealth State and Local Health Innovation Prize, an award designed to honor public and private collaborations that use data to improve population health.
Although the child lead poisoning incidence rates are falling in Chicago, nearly 2,000 children test positive for lead exposure every year — and exposure disproportionately affects the city’s under-served populations. According to the World Health Organization, lead poisoning is associated with lowered IQ, behavioral challenges, learning problems, anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. All of these effects are believed to be irreversible.

Using the Qvera Interface Engine (QIE), the AllianceChicago network of federally qualified health centers is piloting an assessment form inside their EHR that queries the Lead Safe API and instantly returns a lead risk score to the clinician at the point of care. This newly published case study was created in partnership with AllianceChicago, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Chicago Department of Innovation & Technology and the University of Chicago Center for Data Science and Public Policy.

Read the Case Study →

Lead Safe Application Program Interface (Lead Safe API) is a first-of-its-kind clinical decision support tool that helps clinicians identify child lead poisoning risk by leveraging multi-sector data

Nivedita Mohanty, MD

Aggregating data for prevention
“Decades of data on lead prevalence exist, but data silos impede its potential impact on addressing disparities that are perpetuated due to social determinants of health.

“Any investment you make in early childhood development has huge returns for society at large. To be able to ensure kids are optimally positioned to succeed has so many benefits, and addressing the lead issue is a critical part of that.”

Nivedita Mohanty, MD
Chief Research Officer – AllianceChicago