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Pediatrics. 2016 Feb;137(2):e20150455. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0455. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

A Multidisciplinary Children's Airway Center: Impact on the Care of Patients With Tracheostomy.

Author information

1
University of North Carolina Health Care System, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Division of Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, and jka@med.unc.edu.
2
Division of Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, and Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
3
Division of Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, and.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Children with complex airway problems see multiple specialists. To improve outcomes and coordinate care, we developed a multidisciplinary Children's Airway Center. For children with tracheostomies, aspects of care targeted for improvement included optimizing initial hospital discharge, promoting effective communication between providers and caregivers, and avoiding tracheostomy complications.

METHODS:

The population includes children up to 21 years old with tracheostomies. The airway center team includes providers from pediatric pulmonology, pediatric otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and pediatric gastroenterology. Improvement initiatives included enhanced educational strategies, weekly care conferences, institutional consensus guidelines and care plans, personalized clinic schedules, and standardized intervals between airway examinations. A patient database allowed for tracking outcomes over time.

RESULTS:

We initially identified 173 airway center patients including 123 with tracheostomies. The median number of new patients evaluated by the center team each year was 172. Median hospitalization after tracheostomy decreased from 37 days to 26 days for new tracheostomy patients <1 year old discharged from the hospital. A median of 24 care plans was evaluated at weekly conferences. Consensus protocol adherence increased likelihood of successful decannulation from 68% to 86% of attempts. The median interval of 8 months between airway examinations aligned with published recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS:

For children with tracheostomies, our Children's Airway Center met and sustained goals of optimizing hospitalization, promoting communication, and avoiding tracheostomy complications by initiating targeted improvements in a multidisciplinary team setting. A multidisciplinary approach to management of these patients can yield measurable improvements in important outcomes.

PMID:
26755695
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2015-0455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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