Preventing or accelerating emergency care for children with complex healthcare needs.
ABSTRACT A subgroup of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) have chronic and complex medical conditions and frequently attend the emergency department (ED). Some of these ED visits could be prevented through appropriate clinician advice or, if an ED visit is unavoidable, the management time could be decreased. We set out to determine whether an ED-based advice and coordination programme was feasible and could prevent or accelerate ED care for these patients. METHODS, SETTING AND PATIENTS: We identified CSHCN who frequently attended the ED at a large tertiary children's hospital. These patients were enrolled in an ED-based coordination programme, the Accelerated Care through Emergency (ACE) programme providing 24-hour mobile-phone access to experienced ED nurses. We prospectively tracked usage patterns and determined the rate of ED visits after receiving phone advice and the waiting time for patients to be seen in ED. Parental satisfaction and cost of the programme were also assessed.
After a pilot phase in 2002, enrollment in the programme increased from 125 in 2003 to 220 patients in 2006. Patients had a broad range of medical conditions. All had two or more and up to 22 medical services involved in their care. 80% of patients used a technical device or implant. Phone calls increased from an initial average of 31 per month in 2003 (0.24 calls per participant) to 66 per month in 2006 (0.3 calls per participant), 60% of which were after hours. The percentage of ED reviews per phone call dropped from an initial 74.2% (95% CI 55.2%-88.1%) in 2003 to 50.0% (95% CI 37.4%-62.5%) in 2006 (p = 0.02). However, decreases in ED visits and admissions as a percentage of enrolled patients and as a percentage of phone calls to ACE staff were not statistically significant. Mean waiting time for enrolled patients remained below 30 minutes. Parent satisfaction with the programme was rated 8.3 on a 0-10 scale (0 meaning poor, 10 meaning excellent). The approximate cost of the programme per child was AU$750 (292 pounds sterling) per year.
We have developed a coordinated approach towards the provision of healthcare for a group of families with diverse severe chronic medical conditions who frequently present to the ED. Through a comprehensive programme including the development of patient-care plans, care coordination and 24-hour mobile-phone access we were able to enhance families' capacities to manage their children's conditions in the community.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Children with medical complexity (CMC) have chronic conditions, intense healthcare needs, and high healthcare utilization. Proposed changes in the healthcare environment initiated by the Affordable Care Act have led to efforts toward preventing hospital readmissions. The purpose of this integrative review is to explore the current empirical literature and examine how hospital readmissions and repeat emergency department visits have been studied among CMC. A computer database search and ancestry search were conducted, resulting in a sample of 26 studies. The results of the integrative review are presented along with gaps in the literature and implications for nursing practice and research.Journal of pediatric nursing 10/2012;
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To describe the characteristics of emergency department (ED) patients defined as frequent presenters (FP) presenting to an Australian emergency department network and compare these with a cohort of non-frequent presenters (NFP). A retrospective chart review utilising an electronic emergency medicine patient medical record database was performed on patients presenting to Southern Health EDs from March 2009 to March 2010. Non-frequent presenters were defined as patients presenting less than 5 times and frequent presenters as presenting 8 or more times in the study period. Characteristics of both groups were described and compared. During the 12-month study period there were 540 FP patients with 4549 admissions and 73,089 NFP patients with 100,943 admissions. FP patients were slightly older with a significant increase in frequency of patients between the ages of 70 to 79 years and they were more likely to be divorced or separated than NFP patients. Frequent presenters to the emergency department were more likely to utilise the ambulance service to arrive at the hospital, or in the custody of police than NFP patients. FPs were more likely to be admitted to hospital, more likely to have an admission to a mental health bed than NFP patients and more likely to self-discharge from the emergency department while waiting for care. There are major implications for the utilisation of limited ED resources by frequent presenters. By further understanding the characteristics of FP we may be able to address the specific health care needs of this population in more efficient and cost effective ways. Further research analysing the effectiveness of targeted multidisciplinary interventions aiming to reduce the frequency of ED attendances may be warranted.BMC Emergency Medicine 12/2011; 11:21.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Pediatric disaster medicine (PDM) triage is a vital skill set for pediatricians, and is a required component of residency training by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Simulation training is an effective tool for preparing providers for high-stakes, low-frequency events. Debriefing is a learner-centered approach that affords reflection on one's performance, and increases the efficacy of simulation training. The purpose of this study was to measure the efficacy of a multiple-victim simulation in facilitating learners' acquisition of pediatric disaster medicine (PDM) skills, including the JumpSTART triage algorithm. It was hypothesized that multiple patient simulations and a structured debriefing would improve triage performance. A 10-victim school-shooting scenario was created. Victims were portrayed by adult volunteers, and by high- and low-fidelity simulation manikins that responded physiologically to airway maneuvers. Learners were pediatrics residents. Expected triage levels were not revealed. After a didactic session, learners completed the first simulation. Learners assigned triage levels to all victims, and recorded responses on a standardized form. A group structured debriefing followed the first simulation. The debriefing allowed learners to review the victims and discuss triage rationale. A new 10-victim trauma disaster scenario was presented one week later, and a third scenario was presented five months later. During the second and third scenarios, learners again assigned triage levels to multiple victims. Wilcoxon sign rank tests were used to compare pre- and post-test scores and performance on pre- and post-debriefing simulations. A total of 53 learners completed the educational intervention. Initial mean triage performance was 6.9/10 patients accurately triaged (range = 5-10, SD = 1.3); one week after the structured debriefing, the mean triage performance improved to 8.0/10 patients (range = 5-10, SD = 1.37, P < .0001); five months later, there was maintenance of triage improvement, with a mean triage score of 7.8/10 patients (SD = 1.33, P < .0001). Over-triage of an uninjured child with special health care needs (CSHCN) (67.8% of learners prior to debriefing, 49.0% one week post-debriefing, 26.2% five months post-debriefing) and under-triage of head-injured, unresponsive patients (41.2% of learners pre-debriefing, 37.5% post-debriefing, 11.0% five months post-debriefing) were the most common errors. Structured debriefings are a key component of PDM simulation education, and resulted in improved triage accuracy; the improvement was maintained five months after the educational intervention. Future curricula should emphasize assessment of CSHCN and head-injured patients.Prehospital and disaster medicine: the official journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in association with the Acute Care Foundation 06/2012; 27(3):239-44.