The benefits of using clinical pathways for managing acute paediatric illness in an emergency department

Department of Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, NSW, Australia.
Journal of Quality in Clinical Practice 10/2001; 21(3):50-5. DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1762.2001.00405.x
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Moreover, a number of studies have shown an association between higher asthma hospitalization rates and low-quality processes of outpatient care—i.e. low use of inhaled anti-inflammatory agents and oral steroids [12], not having a written asthma management plan [13], and lack of continuity of care with the same provider [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Quality assessment in pediatric care has recently gained momentum. Although many of the approaches to indicator development are similar regardless of the population of interest, few nationwide sets of indicators specifically designed for assessment of primary care of children exist. We performed an empirical analysis of the validity of "Pediatric Asthma Hospitalization Rate" indicator under the assumption that lower admission rates are associated with better performance of primary health care. The validity of "Pediatric Asthma Hospitalization Rate" indicator proposed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the Italian context was investigated with a focus on selection of diagnostic codes, hospitalization type, and risk adjustment. Seasonality and regional variability of hospitalization rates for asthma were analyzed for Italian children aged 2-17 years discharged between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2011 using the hospital discharge records database. Specific rates were computed for age classes: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-17 years. In the years 2009-2011 the number of pediatric hospitalizations for asthma was 14,389 (average annual rate: 0.52 per 1,000) with a large variability across regions. In children aged 2-4 years, the risk of hospitalization for asthma was 14 times higher than in adolescents, then it dropped to 4 in 5- to 9-year-olds and to 1.1 in 10- to 14-year-olds. The inclusion of diagnoses of bronchitis revealed that asthma and bronchitis are equally represented as causes of hospital admissions and have a similar seasonality in preschool children, while older age groups experience hospital admissions mainly in spring and fall, this pattern being consistent with a diagnosis of atopic asthma. Rates of day hospital admissions for asthma were up to 5 times higher than the national average in Liguria and some Southern regions, and close to zero in some Northern regions. The patterns of hospitalization for pediatric asthma in Italy showed that at least two different indicators are needed to measure accurately the quality of care provided to children. The candidate indicators should also include day hospital admissions to better assess accessibility. Future evaluation by a structured clinical panel review at the national level might be helpful to refine indicator definitions and risk groupings, to determine appropriate application for such measures, and to make recommendations to policy makers.
    Italian Journal of Pediatrics 01/2014; 40(1):7. DOI:10.1186/1824-7288-40-7 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    • "One Swedish study, using a patient questionnaire to evaluate patients' perceptions of the quality of care received in the emergency department, showed that “patients perceived … improved quality of care in pain management” after receiving nurse-initiated management for abdominal pain [27]. Browne et al. also report that the use of clinical pathways was “well accepted by parents” in their pediatric setting [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to improve the quality and flow of care provided to children presenting to the emergency department the implementation of nurse-initiated protocols is on the rise. We review the current literature on nurse-initiated protocols, validated emergency department clinical scoring systems, and the merging of the two to create Advanced Nursing Directives (ANDs). The process of developing a clinical pathway for children presenting to our pediatric emergency department (PED) with suspected appendicitis will be used to demonstrate the successful integration of validated clinical scoring systems into practice through the use of Advanced Nursing Directives. Finally, examples of 2 other Advanced Nursing Directives for common clinical PED presentations will be provided.
    06/2012; 2012(22):596393. DOI:10.1155/2012/596393
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