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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Nov;121(5):561-567. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2018.08.015. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

Improving allergy office scheduling increases patient follow up and reduces asthma readmission after pediatric asthma hospitalization.

Author information

1
Division of Allergy Immunology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Institute for Immunology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address: ruffnerm@email.chop.edu.
2
Division of Allergy Immunology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Institute for Immunology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
3
Department of Biomedical Health and Informatics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
4
Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Health and Informatics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
5
Division of Allergy Immunology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pediatric asthma is a major contributor to emergency room utilization and hospital readmission rates.

OBJECTIVE:

To develop an allergy department‒based intervention to improve follow-up appointment scheduling processes for pediatric asthma patients after discharge for asthma exacerbation.

METHODS:

This quality improvement study was conducted in the allergy clinic of an urban, tertiary children's hospital. Children receiving subspecialty allergy care for asthma were included into the intervention group during the intervention period. The quality improvement intervention consisted of 3 attempts by telephone to reach the family to schedule the follow-up appointment. If this was unsuccessful or if the appointment was not kept, then a reminder letter was sent to the family. The primary outcome of interest in this study was the percent of postdischarge follow-up appointments scheduled within 30 days of discharge. Secondary outcomes measured were the percent of allergy appointments attended within 30 days of discharge and the 30-day hospital readmission rate.

RESULTS:

Demographics did not differ significantly between the intervention and baseline preintervention year. The initial baseline scheduled allergy follow-up visit rate was 48.8 ± 13.3% of patients discharged per month. This increased to an overall rate of 75.7 ± 20.1% patients scheduling allergy follow-up within 30 days of discharge during the intervention year. We also observed a significant increase in attended allergy visits 30 days postdischarge from 35.5 ± 15.6% in year 1 to 53.9 ± 25.5% during the intervention year and a significant decrease in the 30-day readmission rate on the allergy service.

CONCLUSION:

These data suggests that minor changes in allergy practice organization can significantly affect posthospitalization follow-up rates and decrease asthma readmission rates.

PMID:
30170026
PMCID:
PMC6236684
DOI:
10.1016/j.anai.2018.08.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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