Objective: Quality of care delivered to adult patients in the emergency department (ED) is often associated with demographic and clinical factors such as a patient's race/ethnicity and insurance status. We sought to determine whether the quality of care delivered to children in the ED was associated with a variety of patient-level factors. Methods: This was a retrospective, observational cohort study. Pediatric patients (<18 years) who received care between January 2011 and December 2011 at one of 12 EDs participating in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) were included. We analyzed demographic factors (including age, sex, and payment source) and clinical factors (including triage, chief complaint, and severity of illness). We measured quality of care using a previously validated implicit review instrument using chart review with a summary score that ranged from 5 to 35. We examined associations between demographic and clinical factors and quality of care using a hierarchical multivariable linear regression model with hospital site as a random effect. Results: In the multivariable model, among the 620 ED encounters reviewed, we did not find any association between patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, and payment source and the quality of care delivered. However, we did find that some chief complaint categories were significantly associated with lower than average quality of care, including fever (–0.65 points in quality, 95% confidence interval [CI] = –1.24 to –0.06) and upper respiratory symptoms (–0.68 points in quality, 95% CI = –1.30 to –0.07). Conclusion: We found that quality of ED care delivered to children among a cohort of 12 EDs participating in the PECARN was high and did not differ by patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, and payment source, but did vary by the presenting chief complaint.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine