Clinical Pathway Effectiveness: Febrile Young Infant Clinical Pathway in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Ashlee Lynn Murray*, Elizabeth Alpern, Jane Lavelle, Cynthia Mollen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Young infants are often treated in emergency departments (EDs) for febrile illnesses. Any delay in care or ineffective management could lead to increased patient morbidity and mortality. A standardized ED clinical pathway may improve care for these patients. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of a febrile young infant clinical pathway implemented in a large, urban children's hospital ED on the timeliness and consistency of care. Methods This study used a before-and-after retrospective observational study design comparing 2 separate periods: prepathway from September 2007 through August 2008 and postpathway from September 2009 through August 2010. Subjects were infants aged 56 days or younger presenting with a rectal temperature of 38.0°C or higher. Patients were excluded if they were transferred from another hospital or if they developed a fever after initial presentation. Results Five hundred twenty infants were enrolled. The mean time to urine collection and time to the first antibiotic administration were reduced after pathway implementation (23-minute reduction to urine collection vs 36-minute reduction to the first antibiotic administration). There was improvement in the proportion of infants who received the pathway-specific antibiotics based on age (odds ratio, 7.2; 95% confidence interval, 4.4, 11.9) and the proportion of infants who were administered acyclovir based on pathway guidelines (odds ratio, 8.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.9-30.0). Conclusions An ED-based febrile young infant clinical pathway improved the timeliness of initiation of work-up as measured by urine collection and of therapy by an earlier administration of the first antibiotic, as well as decreased variability of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e33-e37
JournalPediatric emergency care
Volume33
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Keywords

  • clinical pathway
  • febrile infant
  • quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine

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