Welcome to the Well Visit Planner: FAQs for Families

What is a well-child visit? Why should I see a doctor when my child is not sick?

A well-child visit or a well visit is a check-up in which you and your child’s provider review your child’s growth since the last visit, discuss your child’s development, ways to help your child grow up healthy, and your needs and concerns as a parent. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 13 well visits in the first 3 years. Because babies change so fast, well visits are much more frequent in a child’s first year.

What is the Well Visit Planner (WVP)? 

The WVP is a publicly available tool for parents to plan their child's upcoming well visits (up to their sixth birthday). You can visit the online tool at www.wellvisitplanner.org, where you reflect on and assess your child and family’s health and needs, and pick your priorities for your next well visit. Then you get a customized Visit Guide that you can take with you to the visit or share with your child’s provider prior to the visit. The Visit Guide shows what you have identified as your family's needs, concerns, and priorities that you can discuss with your child’s provider. The WVP is available for 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 month and 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 year well visits.

Who should complete the WVP? 

The WVP can be completed by the child’s parents or guardians who know the child well and have responsibility for the child’s care.

I prefer to talk to my provider directly. Why should I use the Well Visit Planner?

The goal of the WVP is to enhance your ability to talk with your child’s provider. The WVP highlights topics that you wish to discuss and helps you identify your priorities for your upcoming well visit. The WVP makes it easier to have conversations with your child’s provider by providing you with information that is tailored to your child and your priorities. It also helps families and providers organize the limited time available for these visits.

How does the WVP help me as a parent?

The WVP can help you:

  • Identify strengths, issues, concerns and needs important to your child and family’s health that can help you think ahead and prepare for the well visit.
  • Learn about developmental milestones and important topics specific to your child’s age including information about growth, development, behavior and language skills. You can learn more by reading the WVP’s educational materials at https://www.wellvisitplanner.org/Education/Default.aspx.
  • Pick and prioritize topics that you want to discuss with your child’s provider.
  • Partner with your child’s provider by including your questions and concerns in your child’s Visit Guide that you and your child’s provider can focus on during the well visit.
  • Get a single location for all your children’s previous and upcoming well-visit information and educational resources (if you choose to create an account with the WVP).

What will I be asked to do on the WVP?

You will complete three steps on the WVP online tool:

Step 1: Reflect and answer questions on topics about your child and family that will help your child's provider understand more about your child and family’s health, your child’s growth and development, and about your concerns, needs and priorities.

Step 2: Pick the topics related to your child that you want to discuss with your child's provider.

Step 3: Receive a Visit Guide that you can save, print or email to your child’s provider. You can also use it at your child's well visit to help guide the conversation and ensure you get your most important questions answered.

How long will the WVP take to complete?

The tool typically takes about 10 minutes to complete but you can take as long as you like!

What kind of questions are asked in the WVP?

The questions in the WVP are focused on your child’s health, growth and development, what concerns you may have and what is going on in your family. The questions are based on recommendations in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children and Adolescents, Third Edition and approved by an advisory committee of experts in the field of child health research and pediatric care. Your child’s provider is better able to work with you and your child if he or she knows more about your family’s life and environment.

How will the information collected be used? Is my information secure?

Yes! The WVP tool has gone through a rigorous process to ensure that the information collected is 100% secure. Besides—we don’t store any information that can be used to identify you or your child! You are asked to provide your child’s first name and date of birth. These are not stored in our database. The date of birth is used to calculate the age for the well visit and display the age-appropriate questions. If you choose to create an account on the WVP, you have the option to add your child’s first name or nickname to appear on the family dashboard and Visit Guide. This name will be saved on our secure servers. We do not share any of your information or your Visit Guide with anyone. We may combine your responses—minus any specific information that could identify you or your child--with other parents’ responses and share them with your child’s provider. It helps your provider improve well-child care for children and their families. You can learn more about data collection and storage by reading the WVP Terms and Conditions.

When should I use the WVP?

You should complete the WVP before each of your child's well visits. The WVP questions change based on the age of your child, and each visit will be different. If you have two or more children, the WVP should be completed for each child. If you have two children who have a well visit on the same day and they are both between the ages of 4 months and 6 years, then please complete the WVP separately for each child. If you have an account with the WVP, you can add all your children under that one account and view all their visit information in one place.

How do I get an account with the WVP? How will it help me?

You can create your own account on the WVP website with an email address and a chosen password. You can login to your account where you have a dashboard as a single location for all your children’s well-visit information. You can use your dashboard to add your other eligible children, go back to complete the WVP (within 48 hours of starting it) and review previous Visit Guides and educational materials. You can also use the WVP as a guest without an account.

What do I do after completing the WVP?

The WVP generates a printable Visit Guide for your child. Print and bring the Visit Guide to your child’s well visit or email it to your child’s provider to discuss your needs, concerns and priorities during the well visit. If you don’t have a printer, you can ask your provider’s office if you can email it to them in advance.

I lost my Visit Guide, how do I get it back?

If you have an account with the WVP, the Visit Guide gets saved on your dashboard after every time you complete the WVP, for you to access any time in the future.

If you do not have an account, you will need to save or print the Visit Guide or send it via email to yourself, your child’s provider, a family member or anyone else that you choose to send it to. Unfortunately, you cannot retrieve the Visit Guide if you didn't save or print it. You will need to complete the WVP again.

What if my provider does not know about the WVP?

You can introduce your child’s provider to the WVP by sharing this Two-Page Overview and Provider FAQ’s with them. You can encourage them to make the WVP a standard part of their practice. Your child’s provider can learn more about the WVP and create an account to implement the WVP at demostaging.cycleofengagement.org

What if my child has special needs?

All children need well visits. If your child has developmental delays, you may find useful information on more than one age. You can complete the WVP either using your child’s actual age, or developmental age. You can also use the CARE_PATH for Kids model and tools which is meant for families of children and youth with special health care needs to engage, plan, and improve care planning and outcomes in partnership with their child’s care teams. You can learn more about it on www.carepathforkids.org

Is the WVP available in other languages? 

Yes! The WVP is currently available in Spanish.

Can I use it with a mobile device? 

Yes, you can use the WVP on a mobile device – there is no app, but the website is optimized for mobile use.  If your family does not have internet at home, you can ask your provider for assistance, or your local library or community center may have computers and internet access you could use.

For more information, please contact us at: info@cahmi.org