Citing a lack of accepted benchmarks for quality improvement in pediatric hospital care, researchers described in Pediatrics their process of establishing benchmarks for the treatment of asthma, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia, three common conditions treated by pediatric hospitalists that together amount to 10% of all pediatric hospital admissions. Despite the existence of evidence-based guidelines for these conditions, there is wide variation in adherence by U.S. hospitals.
The researchers, led by Kavita Parikh, MD, MSHM, a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s National Health System and assistant professor of pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, both in Washington, D.C., measured 2012 performance in freestanding children’s hospitals using recognized clinical quality indicators and data reported to the Pediatric Health Information System of the Children’s Hospital Association to construct what they call “achievable benchmarks of care,” or ABC. The ABCs are calculated from performance averages at the high-performing children’s hospitals.
“In other words, we identified the best measured performance for each quality indicator, based on actual data reflecting the intricacies of real-world pediatric care,” Dr. Parikh recently told Medscape.
The ABCs also emphasize avoiding the overuse of certain treatments that have a potential risk for adverse events. “High performers did not overutilize nonrecommended services,” Dr. Kavikh says.