Awareness of the impact of preventable harm on patients and families has resulted in extensive efforts to make our health care systems safer. We determined that, in our hospital, patients experienced 1 of 9 types of preventable harm approximately every other day. In an effort to expedite early identification of patients at risk and provide timely intervention, we used the electronic health record’s (EHR) documentation to enable decision support, data capture, and auditing and implemented reporting tools to reduce rates of harm.METHODS:
Harm reduction strategies included aggregating data to generate a risk profile for hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) for all inpatients. The profile includes links to prevention bundles and available care guidelines. Additionally, lists of patients at risk for HACs autopopulate electronic audit tools contained within Research Electronic Data Capture, and data from observational audits and EHR documentation populate real-time dashboards of bundle compliance. Patient population summary reports promote the discussion of relevant HAC prevention measures during patient care and unit leadership rounds.RESULTS:
The hospital has sustained a >30% reduction in harm for 9 types of HAC since 2012. In 2014, the number of HACs with >80% bundle adherence doubled coincident with the progressive rollout of these EHR-based interventions.CONCLUSIONS:
Existing EHR documentation and reporting tools may be effective adjuncts to harm reduction initiatives. Additional study should include an evaluation of scalability across organizations, ongoing bundle adherence, and individual tests of change to isolate interventions with the highest impact on our results.
Amyloidosis cutis dyschromica is a rare form of primary cutaneous amyloidosis without systemic involvement and characterized by asymptomatic, progressive hyper- and hypopigmentation. We present the first case of a patient with amyloidosis cutis dyschromica diagnosed previously elsewhere as having Addison disease with generalized hyperpigmentation of the skin. This case suggests that in patients presenting with asymptomatic cutaneous dyschromia a skin biopsy for histopathological examination should be considered.
Tongue lesions in the pediatric population are rare. The differential diagnosis of these lesions is broad, and rapid growth of the lesion is concerning for a neoplastic process. We present a rare case of a fungal lesion mimicking a neoplastic growth in a 22-month-old girl. She underwent complete excision successfully. Full evaluation for benign and malignant neoplasms was negative. Tissue culture demonstrated growth of a rare Candida species to be the cause of the lesion. Postoperatively, she continues to do well, without regrowth 6 months later. This case reinforces the role of tissue culture when histology fails to demonstrate a diagnosis and emphasizes the need for efficient communication between the pediatrician, otolaryngologist, and pathologist for timely excision.
The overall prevalence of essential hypertension in adolescents may be growing. Differences in blood pressure (BP) are well established in adults, but are less clear in adolescents. We hypothesize that the prevalence of hypertension differs by race/ethnicity among adolescents at school-based screenings.METHODS:
We performed school-based BP screening in over 20 000 adolescents from 2000 to 2015. Race/ethnicity was self-reported. Height and weight were measured to determine BMI, and BP status was confirmed on 3 occasions to diagnose sustained hypertension according to Fourth Working Group Report criteria.RESULTS:
We successfully screened 21 062 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years (mean, 13.8 years). The final prevalence of sustained hypertension in all subjects was 2.7%. Obesity rates were highest among African American (3.1%) and Hispanic (2.7%) adolescents. The highest rate of hypertension was seen in Hispanic (3.1%), followed by African American (2.7%), white (2.6%), and Asian (1.7%) adolescents (P = .019). However, obese white adolescents had the highest prevalence of sustained hypertension (7.4%) compared with obese African American adolescents (4.5%, P < .001). At lower BMI percentiles (<60th percentile), Hispanic adolescents actually had the lowest predicted prevalence of hypertension among the 4 groups.CONCLUSIONS:
The prevalence of hypertension varies among different race/ethnicities. Although obesity remains the strongest predictor of early hypertension, the strength of this relationship is intensified in Hispanic and white adolescents, whereas it is lessened in African American adolescents.
A 15-year-old female subject presented comatose, in respiratory failure and shock, after the intentional ingestion of ~280 extended-release 200-mg carbamazepine tablets with a peak serum concentration of 138 µg/mL (583.74 µmol/L). The patient developed clinical seizures and an EEG pattern of stimulus-induced rhythmic, periodic, or ictal discharges, suggestive of significant cortical dysfunction. Due to the extremely high drug serum concentration and clinical instability, a combination of therapies was used, including lipid emulsion therapy, plasmapheresis, hemodialysis, continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration, and endoscopic intestinal decontamination. The patient’s elevated serum lactate level with a high mixed venous saturation suggested possible mitochondrial dysfunction, prompting treatment with barbiturate coma to reduce cerebral metabolic demand. The serum carbamazepine concentration declined steadily, with resolution of lactic acidosis, no long-term end-organ damage, and return to baseline neurologic function. The patient was eventually discharged in her usual state of health. In the laboratory, we demonstrated in vitro that the active metabolite of carbamazepine hyperpolarized the mitochondrial membrane potential, supporting the hypothesis that the drug caused mitochondrial dysfunction. We thus successfully treated a life-threatening carbamazepine overdose with a combination of modalities. Future studies are required to validate this aggressive approach. The occurrence of mitochondrial dysfunction must be confirmed in patients with carbamazepine toxicity and the need to treat it validated.
Child maltreatment remains a problem in the United States, and individual poverty is a recognized risk factor for abuse. Children in impoverished communities are at risk for negative health outcomes, but the relationship of community poverty to child abuse fatalities is not known. Our objective was to evaluate the association between county poverty concentration and rates of fatal child abuse.METHODS:
This was a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of child abuse fatalities in US children 0 to 4 years of age from 1999 to 2014 by using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Compressed Mortality Files. Population and poverty statistics were obtained from US Census data. National child abuse fatality rates were calculated for each category of community poverty concentration. Multivariate negative binomial regression modeling assessed the relationship between county poverty concentration and child abuse fatalities.RESULTS:
From 1999 to 2014, 11 149 children 0 to 4 years old died of child abuse; 45% (5053) were <1 year old, 56% (6283) were boys, and 58% (6480) were white. The overall rate of fatal child abuse was 3.5 per 100 000 children 0 to 4 years old. In the multivariate model, counties with the highest poverty concentration had >3 times the rate of child abuse fatalities compared with counties with the lowest poverty concentration (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 3.03; 95% confidence interval, 2.4–3.79).CONCLUSIONS:
Higher county poverty concentration is associated with increased rates of child abuse fatalities. This finding should inform public health officials in targeting high-risk areas for interventions and resources.
Family-centered rounds (FCRs) have become standard of care, despite the limited evaluation of FCRs’ benefits or interventions to support high-quality FCR delivery. This work examines the impact of the FCR checklist intervention, a checklist and associated provider training, on performance of FCR elements, family engagement, and patient safety.METHODS:
This cluster randomized trial involved 298 families. Two hospital services were randomized to use the checklist; 2 others delivered usual care. We evaluated the performance of 8 FCR checklist elements and family engagement from 673 pre- and postintervention FCR videos and assessed the safety climate with the Children’s Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire. Random effects regression models were used to assess intervention impact.RESULTS:
The intervention significantly increased the number of FCR checklist elements performed (β = 1.2, P < .001). Intervention rounds were significantly more likely to include asking the family (odds ratio [OR] = 2.43, P < .05) or health care team (OR = 4.28, P = .002) for questions and reading back orders (OR = 12.43, P < .001). Intervention families’ engagement and reports of safety climate were no different from usual care. However, performance of specific checklist elements was associated with changes in these outcomes. For example, order read-back was associated with significantly more family engagement. Asking families for questions was associated with significantly better ratings of staff’s communication openness and safety of handoffs and transitions.CONCLUSIONS:
The performance of FCR checklist elements was enhanced by checklist implementation and associated with changes in family engagement and more positive perceptions of safety climate. Implementing the checklist improves delivery of FCRs, impacting quality and safety of care.
Community health workers (CHWs) have great potential to extend medical home services and reduce emergent health care use, but evidence in pediatrics is scarce. We evaluated the impact of an existing enriched medical home intervention (EMHI) that directly integrates CHWs into emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations for pediatric ambulatory care–sensitive conditions (ACSCs).METHODS:
The EMHI group in this prospective cohort study received home visits from trained CHWs to support adherence to recommended care; the comparison group received usual care (UC). Sociodemographic characteristics were compiled from the EMHI database, and ED and hospitalization information was extracted for study participants from a statewide database. The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare ED data and the Wald test was used to compare hospitalization use for ACSCs between the intervention and UC groups after adjusting for different characteristics between groups by using propensity score matching method.RESULTS:
The study sample included 922 children (225 intervention, 697 UC). After propensity score matching, the analytic sample included 450 children (225 intervention, 225 UC). After propensity score matching, the intervention group was significantly less likely than the UC group to visit the ED for an ACSC (18.2% vs 35.1%; P = .004). We found no differences in ACSC hospitalizations between the 2 groups.CONCLUSIONS:
Our findings suggest that EMHIs using trained CHWs may be a cost-effective model to reduce preventable ED utilization, especially among vulnerable children.
To determine the effect of an intervention to improve emotional and behavioral self-regulation in combination with an obesity-prevention program on the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related behaviors in preschoolers.METHODS:
This was a cluster-randomized intervention trial in Head Start (HS) classrooms conducted in each of 4 academic years from 2011 to 2015. Participants (697 children; 49% boys; mean age: 4.1 ± 0.5 years; 48% white, 30% African American, 12% Hispanic) were randomly assigned by classroom to 1 of 3 intervention arms: (1) HS + Preschool Obesity Prevention Series (POPS) + Incredible Years Series (IYS) (HS enhanced by the POPS [program targeting evidence-based obesity-prevention behaviors] and the IYS [program to improve children’s self-regulation]), (2) HS+POPS, or (3) HS. Primary outcomes were changes in prevalence of obesity, overweight/obesity, BMI z score, and teacher-reported child emotional and behavioral self-regulation; secondary outcomes were dietary intake, outdoor play, screen time, and parent nutrition knowledge and nutrition self-efficacy.RESULTS:
HS+POPS+IYS improved teacher-reported self-regulation compared with HS+POPS (P < .001) and HS (P < .001), but there was no effect on the prevalence of obesity (16.4% preintervention to 14.3% postintervention in HS+POPS+IYS versus 17.3% to 14.4% in HS+POPS [P = .54] versus 12.2% to 13.0% in HS [P = .33]). There was no effect of HS+POPS compared with HS alone (P = .16). There was no effect on other outcomes except for sugar-sweetened beverage intake (HS+POPS+IYS resulted in a greater decline than HS; P = .005).CONCLUSIONS:
An intervention for parents and children to improve HS preschoolers’ emotional and behavioral self-regulation in combination with an obesity-prevention curriculum did not reduce obesity prevalence or most obesity-related behaviors.
Microcystic lymphatic malformations (MLM) are low-flow vascular malformations composed of multiple small cysts. MLM usually affect deep-lying structures, which makes their treatment even more difficult and complex. A novel and interesting treatment is rapamycin, a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor that when orally administrated has offered favorable results. However, until recently, topical rapamycin had not been used in the treatment of MLM. Case 1 is a girl aged 13 years with extensive MLM affecting the muscles in the right buttock. The patient had received frequent cycles of cryotherapy, but they had failed to control the associated symptoms. In the previous 12 months, the patient had reported greater discomfort, swelling, exudate, and superinfection of the affected region. Because no specific treatment has yet been approved for MLM, and as a step before the use of aggressive systemic or intralesional treatments, it was decided to initiate treatment with 1% rapamycin ointment. After 4 months of treatment, the patient presented a marked improvement, with a significant reduction of associated complications and no major side effects. Case 2 is a boy aged 5 years who underwent surgery for an intergluteal lipoblastoma at 3 weeks of life and developed a MLM on the scar 6 months afterward. The lesion showed slow growth and continuous exudation with frequent episodes of superinfection. Treatments with laser multiplex and intralesional bleomycin were performed unsuccessfully. In the previous 4 months, the patient had been treated with 1% rapamycin ointment with significant improvement and no side effects.
This first-ever country-level study assesses the implementation of the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) program in 15 of Tanzania’s mainland regions by measuring coverage, adoption and retention of provider skills, acceptability among providers, and barriers and challenges to at-scale implementation.METHODS:
Longitudinal facility-level follow-up visits assessed provider resuscitation knowledge and skills in using objective structured clinical examinations and readiness of facilities to resuscitate newborns, in terms of birth attendants trained and essential equipment available and functional. Focus group discussions were held with providers to determine the acceptability, challenges, and barriers to implementation of the HBB program.RESULTS:
Immediately after HBB training, 87.1% of providers passed the objective structured clinical examination. This number dropped to 79.4% at 4 to 6 weeks and 55.8% at 4 to 6 months (P < .001). Noting this fall-off in skills, the program implemented structured on-the-job training and supportive supervisory visits, which were associated with an improvement in skill retention. At long-term follow-up, >90% of facilities had bag-mask devices available to all beds in the labor and delivery ward, and 96% were functional. Overall, providers were highly satisfied with the HBB program but thought that the 1-day training used in Tanzania was too short, so they would welcome additional training and follow-up visits to reinforce skills.CONCLUSIONS:
The HBB program in Tanzania has gained acceptability and shown success in equipping providers with neonatal resuscitation knowledge, skills, and supplies. However, assessing the program’s impact on neonatal mortality has proven challenging.
Ventricular shunt complications in children can be severe and life-threatening if not identified and treated in a timely manner. Evaluation for shunt obstruction is not without risk, including lifetime cumulative radiation as patients routinely receive computed tomography (CT) scans of the brain and shunt series (multiple radiographs of the skull, neck, chest, and abdomen).METHODS:
A multidisciplinary team collaborated to develop a clinical pathway with the goal of standardizing the evaluation and management of patients with suspected shunt complication. The team implemented a low-dose CT scan, specifically tailored for the detection of hydrocephalus and discouraged routine use of shunt series with single-view radiographs used only when specifically indicated.RESULTS:
There was a reduction in the average CT effective dose (millisievert) per emergency department (ED) encounter of 50.6% (confidence interval, 46.0–54.9; P ≤ .001) during the intervention period. There was a significant reduction in the number of shunt surveys obtained per ED encounter, from 62.4% to 5.32% (P < .01). There was no significant change in the 72-hour ED revisit rate or CT scan utilization rate after hospital admission. There were no reports of inadequate patient evaluations or serious medical events.CONCLUSIONS:
A new clinical pathway has rapidly reduced radiation exposure, both by reducing the radiation dose of CT scans and eliminating or reducing the number of radiographs obtained in the evaluation of patients with ventricular shunts without compromising clinical care.
Childhood adversity is highly prevalent and associated with risk for poor health outcomes in childhood and throughout the life course. Empirical literature on resilience over the past 40 years has identified protective factors for traumatized children that improve health outcomes. Despite these empirical investigations of resilience, there is limited integration of these findings into proactive strategies to mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences. We review the state of resilience research, with a focus on recent work, as it pertains to protecting children from the health impacts of early adversity. We identify and document evidence for 5 modifiable resilience factors to improve children’s long- and short-term health outcomes, including fostering positive appraisal styles in children and bolstering executive function, improving parenting, supporting maternal mental health, teaching parents the importance of good self-care skills and consistent household routines, and offering anticipatory guidance about the impact of trauma on children. We conclude with 10 recommendations for pediatric practitioners to leverage the identified modifiable resilience factors to help children withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity. Taken together, these recommendations constitute a blueprint for a trauma-informed medical home. Building resilience in pediatric patients offers an opportunity to improve the health and well-being of the next generation, enhance national productivity, and reduce spending on health care for chronic diseases.
High recruitment and retention rates in randomized controlled trials are essential to ensure validity and broad generalizability. We used quality improvement methods, including run charts and intervention cycles, to achieve and sustain high recruitment and retention rates during the Hospital-To-Home Outcomes randomized controlled trial. This study is examining the effects of a single nurse–led home health care visit after discharge for an acute pediatric hospitalization. A total of 1500 participants were enrolled in the 15-month study period. For study recruitment, we assessed the percentage of patients who enrolled in the study among those randomly selected to approach (goal ≥50%) and the percentage of patients who refused to enroll from those randomly selected to approach (goal ≤30%). For intervention completion, we examined the percentage of patients who completed the home visit intervention among those randomized to receive the intervention (goal ≥95%) were examined. Follow-up rates were tracked as the percentage of patients who completed the 14-day follow-up telephone survey (goal ≥95%). The study goals for 2 of the 4 metrics were met and sustained, with statistically significant improvements over time in 3 metrics. The median enrollment rate increased from 50% to 59%, and the median refusal rate decreased from 37% to 32%. The median intervention completion rate remained unchanged at 88%. The 14-day follow-up completion median rate increased from 94% to 96%. These results indicate that quality improvement methods can be used within the scope of a large research study to achieve and sustain high recruitment and retention rates.
Emergency departments (EDs) in the United States are overcrowded and nearing a breaking point. Alongside ever-increasing demand, one of the leading causes of ED overcrowding is the boarding of hospitalized patients in the ED as they await bed placement. We sought to develop a model for early prediction of hospitalizations, thus enabling an earlier start for the placement process and shorter boarding times.METHODS:
We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of all visits to the Boston Children’s Hospital ED from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. We used 50% of the data for model derivation and the remaining 50% for validation. We built the predictive model by using a mixed method approach, running a logistic regression model on results generated by a naive Bayes classifier. We performed sensitivity analyses to evaluate the impact of the model on overall resource utilization.RESULTS:
Our analysis comprised 59 033 patient visits, of which 11 975 were hospitalized (cases) and 47 058 were discharged (controls). Using data available within the first 30 minutes from presentation, our model identified 73.4% of the hospitalizations with 90% specificity and 35.4% of hospitalizations with 99.5% specificity (area under the curve = 0.91). Applying this model in a real-time setting could potentially save the ED 5917 hours per year or 30 minutes per hospitalization.CONCLUSIONS:
This approach can accurately predict patient hospitalization early in the ED encounter by using data commonly available in most electronic medical records. Such early identification can be used to advance patient placement processes and shorten ED boarding times.
NICU patients have characteristics believed to increase their risk for wrong-patient errors; however, little is known about the frequency of wrong-patient errors in the NICU or about effective interventions for preventing these errors. We conducted a quality improvement study to evaluate the frequency of wrong-patient orders in the NICU and to assess the effectiveness of an ID reentry intervention and a distinct naming convention (eg, "Wendysgirl") for reducing these errors, using non-NICU pediatric units as a comparator.METHODS:
Using a validated measure, we examined the rate of wrong-patient orders in NICU and non-NICU pediatric units during 3 periods: baseline (before implementing interventions), ID reentry intervention (reentry of patient identifiers before placing orders), and combined intervention (addition of a distinct naming convention for newborns).RESULTS:
We reviewed >850 000 NICU orders and >3.5 million non-NICU pediatric orders during the 7-year study period. At baseline, wrong-patient orders were more frequent in NICU than in non-NICU pediatric units (117.2 vs 74.9 per 100 000 orders, respectively; odds ratio 1.56; 95% confidence interval, 1.34–1.82). The ID reentry intervention reduced the frequency of errors in the NICU to 60.2 per 100 000 (48.7% reduction; P < .001). The combined ID reentry and distinct naming interventions yielded an additional decrease to 45.6 per 100 000 (61.1% reduction from baseline; P < .001).CONCLUSIONS:
The risk of wrong-patient orders in the NICU was significantly higher than in non-NICU pediatric units. Implementation of a combined ID reentry intervention and distinct naming convention greatly reduced this risk.
A substantial body of work has related survey-based parental vaccine hesitancy to noncompliant childhood immunization. However little attention has been paid to the connection between parents’ own immunization behavior and the immunizations their children receive.METHODS:
Using the Oregon ALERT Immunization Information System, we identified adult caregiver–child pairs for children between 9 months and 17 years of age. The likelihood of adult–child concordance of influenza immunization per influenza season from 2010–2011 through 2014–2015 was assessed. The utility of adult immunization as a predictor was also assessed for other, noninfluenza recommended immunizations for children and adolescents.RESULTS:
A total of 450 687 matched adult caregiver–child pairs were included in the study. The children of immunizing adults were 2.77 times more likely to also be immunized for seasonal influenza across all seasons (95% confidence interval, 2.74–2.79), with similar results applying within each season. Adult immunization status was also significantly associated with the likelihood of children and adolescents getting other noninfluenza immunizations, such as the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV). When adults improved their own behavior from nonimmunizing to immunizing across influenza seasons, their children if not immunized in the previous season were 5.44 times (95% confidence interval, 5.35–5.53) more likely to become immunized for influenza.CONCLUSIONS:
Children’s likelihood of following immunization recommendations is associated with the immunization behavior of their parents. Encouraging parental immunization is a potential tool for increasing children’s immunization rates.
Development and validation of the Pediatric Sedation State Scale (PSSS) is intended to specifically meet the needs of pediatric procedural sedation providers to measure effectiveness and quality of care.METHODS:
The PSSS content was developed through Delphi methods utilizing leading pediatric sedation experts and published guidelines on procedural sedation in children. Video clips were created and presented to study participants, who graded the state of patients during procedures by using the PSSS to evaluate inter- and intrarater reliability by determining the intraclass correlation coefficient. We also compared the PSSS to the Observational Scale of Behavioral Distress–revised during 4 clinically relevant phases of a laceration repair procedure.RESULTS:
Six sedation states were defined for the PSSS. Each state was assigned a numerical value with higher numbers for increasing activity states. We included behaviors associated with adequate and inadequate sedation and adverse events associated with excessive sedation. Analysis of interrater and intrarater reliability revealed an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.994 (95% confidence interval: 0.986–0.998) and 0.986 (95% confidence interval: 0.970–0.995), respectively. Criterion validity was confirmed with respect to the Observational Scale of Behavioral Distress–revised (Spearman r = 0.96). Construct validity was indicated by significant differences in PSSS scores (P < .001) between 4 phases of a procedure, each having a different degree of painful or distressing stimuli.CONCLUSIONS:
The PSSS is a 6-point scale that is a valid measure of the effectiveness and quality of procedural sedation in children within the limits of the testing method used in this study.
A 9-day-old infant girl presented with diarrhea and weight loss of 19% since birth. She was born via spontaneous vaginal delivery at 39 weeks’ gestation to a mother positive for group B Streptococcus who received adequate intrapartum prophylaxis. The infant was formula-fed every 2 to 3 hours with no reported issues with feeding or swallowing. The infant had nonmucoid watery stools ~5 to 15 times per day. Her family history was significant for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in several of her family members. Her initial vital signs and physical examination were normal. Laboratory data on hospital admission showed a normal complete blood cell count, but her chemistry analysis revealed significant hypernatremia, hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis, and acute kidney injury. Her hypernatremia was resistant to fluid management. In this article, we discuss the infant’s hospital course, our clinical thought process, and how we arrived at our final diagnosis.