The benefits of using clinical pathways for managing acute paediatric illness in an emergency department.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to provide an evaluation of the overall effectiveness of using a number of clinical pathways in treating common acute paediatric conditions in an emergency department. This was a before and after study conducted on the effectiveness of three clinical pathways (gastroenteritis, asthma, and croup) in the emergency department of the Children's Hospital at Westmead, conducted over two separate yearly periods January to December 1996 and January to December 1999 representing before and after the introduction of clinical pathways in the emergency department. The main outcomes of the effectiveness of the pathways, namely admission to an in-patient bed, length of hospital stay and re-presentation after discharge from the ED were compared. Other outcomes of interest such as parental satisfaction and patient waiting times were also presented. Any deviation from a key clinical pathway process was reported. A total of 2854 children were managed by a clinical pathway compared to 2680 children managed before clinical pathways were introduced. The admission rate was reduced by threefold (9.1% compared to 23.6%) with a twofold reduction in length of hospital stay (32.7 h compared to 17.5 h). In 3.6% of children using a clinical pathway an unscheduled medical visit or re-presentation to the emergency department occurred after discharge, compared to 4.9% before the use of clinical pathways. No adverse events were reported in these children. In 76 cases deviation from a clinical pathway process was reported. High parental satisfaction was reported for clinical pathways throughout the study. Clinical pathways in this emergency department allowed rapid stabilisation of children, reducing admission rate, with a shortened length of hospital stay and few patients re-presenting after discharge and were well accepted by parents.
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ABSTRACT: Poor adherence to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Asthma Guidelines may result in unnecessary admissions for children presenting to the emergency department (ED) with exacerbations. We determine the effect of implementing an evidence-based ED clinical pathway on corticosteroid and bronchodilator administration and imaging utilization, and the subsequent effect on hospital admissions in a US ED. A prospective, interventional study of pediatric (≤21 years) visits to an academic ED between 2011 and 2013 with moderate-severe asthma exacerbations has been conducted. A multidisciplinary team designed a one-page clinical pathway based on the NIH Guidelines. Nurses, respiratory therapists and physicians attended educational sessions prior to the pathway implementation. By adjusting for demographics, acuity and ED volume, we compared timing and appropriateness of corticosteroid and bronchodilator administration, and chest radiograph (CXR) utilization with historical controls from 2006 to 2011. Subsequent hospital admission rates were also compared. A total of 379 post-intervention visits were compared with 870 controls. Corticosteroids were more likely to be administered during post-intervention visits (96% vs. 78%, adjusted OR 6.35; 95% CI 3.17-12.73). Post-intervention, median time to corticosteroid administration was 45 min faster (RR 0.74; 95% CI 0.67-0.81) and more patients received corticosteroids within 1 h of arrival (45% vs. 18%, OR 3.5; 95% CI 2.50-4.90). More patients received > 1 bronchodilator dose within 1 h (36% vs. 24%, OR 1.65; 95% CI 1.23-2.21) and fewer received CXRs (27% vs. 42%, OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.52-0.94). There were fewer admissions post-intervention (13% vs. 21%, OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.37-0.76). A clinical pathway is associated with improved adherence to NIH Guidelines and, subsequently, fewer hospital admissions for pediatric ED patients with asthma exacerbations.Journal of Asthma 05/2015; DOI:10.3109/02770903.2015.1019086 · 1.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Reducing the waits in emergency departments is important for patients and is a government priority. In order to reduce waits the whole system must be considered. The flow of patients before arrival at the emergency department determines the workload of the department. The staffing, resources and systems within the emergency department are key to providing high quality timely care. The flow of patients after leaving the emergency department until their return home will determine whether they can be discharged from the department in a timely manner. Despite the present focus on emergency care in the NHS there have been no reviews of the literature to inform the present changes to reduce waits.