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: IMPORTANCE Ondansetron hydrochloride use in children with gastroenteritis is increasing rapidly; however, little is known about its impact on outcomes. OBJECTIVE To determine whether increasing emergency department ondansetron use has resulted in a reduction in intravenous rehydration rates. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Retrospective observational analysis of eligible visits included in the Pediatric Health Information System administrative database. Eligible institutions included 18 emergency departments geographically distributed across the United States, and participants included 804 000 patients aged 0 to 18 years who were diagnosed as having gastroenteritis in an emergency department at an eligible participating institution between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2011. INTERVENTIONS The presence or absence of oral ondansetron administration was identified for each patient through database review. Visits were categorized based on institutional ondansetron use: low (<5% administered ondansetron), medium (5%-25%), or high (>25%). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES We conducted hospital-level analyses of the associations between ondansetron use and 3 outcomes: intravenous rehydration (primary), hospitalization, and emergency department revisits within 3 days. Time-series regression models were used, adjusting for demographic characteristics, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and rotavirus infection. RESULTS A total of 804 000 eligible patient visits were identified. Oral ondansetron use increased from a median institutional rate of 0.11% (interquartile range, 0.04%-0.44%) of patient visits in 2002 to 42.2% (interquartile range, 37.5%-49.1%) in 2011 (P < .001). Intravenous rehydration was administered to 43 413 of 232 706 children (18.7%) during the low ondansetron period compared with 59 450 of 334 264 (17.8%) during the high ondansetron period (adjusted percentage change = -0.33%; 95% CI, -1.86% to 1.20%). During the transition from low to high ondansetron use, we observed no change in the hospitalization rate (adjusted percentage change = -0.33%; 95% CI, -0.95% to 0.29%), but emergency department revisits decreased (adjusted percentage change = -0.31%; 95% CI, -0.49% to -0.13%). The change in all 3 outcomes varied widely between low and high ondansetron use categories at an institutional level. Oral ondansetron was provided to 13.5% (95% CI, 13.3% to 13.7%) of children administered intravenous rehydration. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Although ondansetron use increased during the study period, intravenous rehydration rates were unchanged. Most children administered intravenous fluids did not receive oral ondansetron. Our findings highlight the need to focus efforts to administer ondansetron to children at greatest risk for oral rehydration failure.02/2014; 168(4). DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4906
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ABSTRACT: Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and readmission in children. Understanding the patient characteristics associated with pneumonia readmissions is necessary to inform interventions to reduce avoidable hospitalizations and related costs. The objective of this study was to characterize readmission rates, and identify factors and costs associated with readmission among children previously hospitalized with pneumonia.METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of children hospitalized with pneumonia at the 43 hospitals included in the Pediatric Health Information System between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011. The primary outcome was all-cause readmission within 30 days after hospital discharge, and the secondary outcome was pneumonia-specific readmission. We used multivariable regression models to identify patient and hospital characteristics and costs associated with readmission.RESULTS: A total of 82 566 children were hospitalized with pneumonia (median age, 3 years; interquartile range 1-7). Thirty-day all-cause and pneumonia-specific readmission rates were 7.7% and 3.1%, respectively. Readmission rates were higher among children <1 year of age, as well as in patients with previous hospitalizations, longer index hospitalizations, and complicated pneumonia. Children with chronic medical conditions were more likely to experience all-cause (odds ratio 3.0; 95% confidence interval 2.8-3.2) and pneumonia-specific readmission (odds ratio 1.8; 95% confidence interval 1.7-2.0) compared with children without chronic medical conditions. The median cost of a readmission ($11 344) was higher than that of an index admission ($4495; P = .01). Readmissions occurred in 8% of pneumonia hospitalizations but accounted for 16.3% of total costs for all pneumonia hospitalizations.CONCLUSIONS: Readmissions are common after hospitalization for pneumonia, especially among young children and those with chronic medical conditions, and are associated with substantial costs.Pediatrics 06/2014; 134(1). DOI:10.1542/peds.2014-0331 · 5.30 Impact Factor