Care of Children With Sickle Cell Disease in the Emergency Department: Parent and Provider Perspectives Inform Quality Improvement Efforts

1Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.9). 07/2013; 30(4). DOI: 10.1177/1043454213493509
Source: PubMed


Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) present to the emergency department (ED) with complex medical and behavioral health needs. Little research has been conducted to understand elements necessary to provide a comprehensive approach. We conducted 9 focus groups and 2 individual interviews with ED nurses, ED physicians, parents, 1 SCD nurse practitioner, and 1 SCD hematologist in 6 states. The primary aim of the study was to assess the appropriateness of the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths for pediatric patients. Participants were asked to discuss important aspects of ED management. Transcripts were analyzed according to 5 key decision points, and common themes were identified for each decision. Decisions included triage, analgesic management, diagnostic evaluation, disposition, and high risk evaluation and referrals needed at discharge. Participants identified critical areas that can be used to organize and improve the assessment, management, and disposition/referral decisions in order to provide better care to children with SCD in the ED. Parent input was critical for each decision.

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    ABSTRACT: Time to opioid administration (TTO) has been suggested as a quality of care measure for sickle cell disease patients with vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC). We sought to determine whether TTO was associated with outcomes of emergency department (ED) visits for VOC. We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study of ED visits for VOC. The primary outcome was hospital admission, with secondary outcomes of change between the first 2 pain scores, area under the curve [AUC] for pain scores at 4 hours (pain score AUC), total ED length of stay, and total intravenous opioids. In both univariate and multivariate analyses, mixed regression (logistic for admission, linear for secondary outcome variables) was used to evaluate association of TTO with outcome. In 177 subjects, 414 ED visits for VOC were identified. Inpatient admission occurred in 53% of visits. The median TTO for admitted patients was 86 minutes vs 87 minutes for those not admitted. TTO was not associated with inpatient admission in either univariate or multivariate analyses. In multivariate analyses with secondary outcomes, decreased TTO was associated with greater improvement between the first 2 pain scores, decreased pain score AUC, decreased total ED length of stay, and increased total opioids. Although TTO was not associated with admission, it was independently associated with 4 important secondary outcomes: change in initial pain scores, pain score AUC, total ED length of stay, and total intravenous opioids. The association of a process measure, TTO, with these outcomes encourages the institution of TTO reduction efforts in the ED. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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