Variation in Resource Utilization Across a National Sample of Pediatric Emergency Departments
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To describe variations in emergency department (ED) quality measures and determine the association between ED costs and outcomes for 3 pediatric conditions: asthma, gastroenteritis, and simple febrile seizure. STUDY DESIGN: This cross-sectional analysis of ED visits used the Pediatric Health Information System database. Children aged ≤18 years who were evaluated in an ED between July 2009 and June 2011 and had a discharge diagnosis of asthma, gastroenteritis, or simple febrile seizure were included. Two quality of care metrics were evaluated for each target condition, and Spearman correlation was applied to evaluate the relationship between ED costs (reflecting overall resource utilization) and admission and revisit rates among institutions. RESULTS: More than 250 000 ED visits at 21 member hospitals were analyzed. Among children with asthma, the median rate of chest radiography utilization was 35.1% (IQR, 31.3%-41.7%), and that of corticosteroid administration was 82.6% (IQR, 78.5%-86.5%). For children with gastroenteritis, the median rate of ondansetron administration was 52% (IQR, 43.2%-57.0%), and that of intravenous fluid administration was 18.1% (IQR, 15.3%-21.3%). Among children with febrile seizures, the median rate of computed tomography utilization was 3.1% (IQR, 2.7%-4.3%), and that of lumbar puncture was 4.0% (IQR, 2.3%-5.6%). Increased costs were not associated with lower admission rate or 3-day ED revisit rate for the 3 conditions. CONCLUSION: We observed variation in quality measures for patients presenting to pediatric EDs with common conditions. Higher costs were not associated with lower hospitalization or ED revisit rates.
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to identify factors associated with delayed or omission of indicated steroids for children seen in the emergency department (ED) for moderate-to-severe asthma exacerbation. This was a retrospective study of pediatric (age ≤ 21 years) patients treated in a general academic ED from January 2006 to September 2011 with a primary diagnosis of asthma (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code 493.xx) and moderate-to-severe exacerbations. A moderate-to-severe exacerbation was defined as requiring 2 or more (or continuous) bronchodilators. We determined the proportion of visits in which steroids were inappropriately omitted or delayed (>1 hour from arrival). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify patient, physician, and system factors associated with delayed or omitted steroids. Of 1333 pediatric asthma ED visits, 817 were for moderate-to-severe exacerbation; 645 (79%) received steroids. Patients younger than 6 years (odds ratio [OR], 2.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-4.24), requiring more bronchodilators (OR, 2.82; 95% CI, 2.10-3.79), initially hypoxic (OR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.33-5.83), or tachypneic (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.05-2.20) were more likely to receive steroids. Median time to steroid administration was 108 minutes (interquartile range, 65-164 minutes). Steroid administration was delayed in 502 visits (78%). Patients with hypoxia (OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.11-3.27) or tachypnea (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.17-2.84) were more likely to receive steroids 1 hour or less of arrival, whereas children younger than 2 years (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.07-0.35) and those arriving during periods of higher ED volume (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.67-0.94) were less likely to receive timely steroids. In this ED, steroids were underprescribed and frequently delayed for pediatric ED patients with moderate-to-severe asthma exacerbation. Greater ED volume and younger age are associated with delays. Interventions are needed to expedite steroid administration, improving adherence to National Institutes of Health asthma guidelines.Pediatric emergency care 09/2013; DOI:10.1097/PEC.0b013e3182a5cbde · 0.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pediatric patients, who accounted for 17.4% of US emergency department (ED) visits in 2010, present unique challenges that can impede an ED’s ability to provide optimal care. To meet the growing demand for comprehensive, high-quality care, health care systems are incorporating quality improvement (QI) methods to reduce costs and variations in care and to improve access, safety, and ultimately the outcomes of medical care. This overview of QI initiatives within the field of pediatric emergency medicine explores how proven QI strategies are being integrated into efforts that target the care of children within the broader emergency care community. These initiatives are categorized within the domains of education, infrastructures supporting QI efforts, research, and community/government collaborations. Professional societies supporting education, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have made several strides to cultivate new health leaders that will use QI methodology to improve outcomes in pediatric emergency care. In addition to educational pursuits, professional societies and QI organizations (eg, Children’s Hospital Association) offer stable infrastructures from which QI initiatives, either disease specific or broadly targeted, can be implemented as large-scale QI initiatives (eg, quality collaboratives). This overview also provides examples of how QI methodology has been integrated into research strategies and describes how the pediatric emergency medicine community can spread innovation and best practices into the larger emergency care community.Academic Pediatrics 11/2013; 13(6):S61–S68. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2013.06.007 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To explore the risk of cardiac arrhythmias associated with ondansetron administration in the context of recent recommendations for identification of high-risk individuals. We conducted a postmarketing analysis and systematically reviewed the published literature, grey literature, manufacturer's database, Food and Drug Administration Adverse Events Reporting System, and the World Health Organization Individual Safety Case Reports Database (VigiBase). Eligible cases described a documented (or perceived) arrhythmia within 24 hours of ondansetron administration. The primary outcome was arrhythmia occurrence temporally associated with the administration of a single, oral ondansetron dose. Secondary objectives included identifying all cases associating ondansetron administration (any dose, frequency, or route) to an arrhythmia. Primary: No reports describing an arrhythmia associated with single oral ondansetron dose administration were identified. Secondary: Sixty unique reports were identified. Route of administration was predominantly intravenous (80%). A significant medical history (67%) or concomitant use of a QT-prolonging medication (67%) was identified in 83% of reports. Approximately one third occurred in patients receiving chemotherapeutic agents, many of which are known to prolong the QT interval. An additional third involved administration to prevent postoperative vomiting. Current evidence does not support routine ECG and electrolyte screening before single oral ondansetron dose administration to individuals without known risk factors. Screening should be targeted to high-risk patients and those receiving ondansetron intravenously.Annals of emergency medicine 12/2013; 64(1). DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.10.026 · 4.33 Impact Factor