A Quality Improvement Approach to Decreasing Postdischarge Acute Care Reuse Among Children With Asthma

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Article, Peer-reviewed

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Objectives: To reduce 7-day acute care reuse among children with asthma after discharge from an academic children's hospital by standardizing the delivery of clinical care and patient education.

Methods: A diverse group of stakeholders from our tertiary care children's hospital and local community agencies used quality improvement methods to implement a series of interventions within inpatient, emergency department (ED), and outpatient settings. These interventions were designed to improve admission, inpatient care, and discharge processes for children hospitalized because of asthma and included a focus on (1) resident education, (2) patient access to medication and asthma education, and (3) gaps in existing asthma clinical care pathways in the ED and ICU. The primary outcome was the rate of 7-day acute care reuse (combined hospital readmissions and ED revisits) after discharge from an index hospitalization for asthma, measured through a monthly review of electronic health record data and compared with a 6-month baseline period of reuse data.

Results: The mean 7-day reuse rate for asthma after discharge was 3.7% during the 6 months baseline period (n = 107) and 1.0% during the 15-month intervention period (n = 302). This included a shift in our median from 3.3% to 0% with an 8-month period of no 7-day reuse.

Conclusions: An interprofessional quality improvement team successfully achieved and sustained a 73% reduction in mean 7-day asthma-related acute care reuse after discharge by standardizing provider training, care processes, and patient education.