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Interventions to Reduce Over-Utilized Tests and Treatments in Bronchiolitis

Tyler A, Krack P, Bakel LA, et al. Pediatrics. 2018;141(6):e20170485


OBJECTIVES: The American Academy of Pediatrics published bronchiolitis clinical practice guidelines in 2014 recommending against the routine use of bronchodilators, chest radiographs, or respiratory viral testing in children with a clinical diagnosis of bronchiolitis. Our aim in this project was to align care with the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical practice guidelines by decreasing the overuse of these interventions.
METHODS: This study included patients who were admitted to a non-ICU setting with a primary or secondary diagnosis of bronchiolitis. The team used a multidisciplinary kickoff event to understand the problem and develop interventions, including sharing provider-specific data and asking providers to sign a pledge to reduce use. We used a novel, real-time data dashboard to collect and analyze data.
RESULTS: Special cause variation on control charts indicated improvement for all outcomes for inpatients during the intervention season. Pre- and postanalyses in which we compared baseline to intervention values for all admitted patients and patients who were discharged from the emergency department or urgent care revealed a significant reduction in the ordering of chest radiographs (from 22.7% to 13.6%; P ≤ .001), respiratory viral testing (from 12.5% to 9.8%; P = .001), and bronchodilators (from 17.5% to 10.3%; P = .001) without changes in balancing measures (eg, hospital readmission within 7 days [1.7% (preanalysis) and 1.0% (postanalysis); P = .21]) for bronchiolitis.
CONCLUSIONS: This multidisciplinary improvement initiative resulted in a significant reduction in use for bronchiolitis care at our institution. Our approach, which included a novel, real-time data dashboard and interventions such as individual providers pledging to reduce use, may have the potential to reduce overuse in other settings and diseases.