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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2019 Feb;35(2):108-111. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001723.

Provider Prediction of Disposition for Children With an Acute Exacerbation of Asthma Presenting to the Pediatric Emergency Department.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN.
2
School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the initial impression of emergency department providers on the disposition of children with asthma exacerbation.

METHODS:

We conducted a prospective survey of physicians and other providers in the emergency department of a children's hospital and parents of children presenting with asthma exacerbation. The treating provider completed a survey after finishing the examination and immediately upon exiting the patient's room. Providers predicted the disposition of the child. Additionally, the providers indicated the likelihood of admission using several 10-cm visual analog scales (VASs). Physician accuracy was calculated, and logistic regression models and receiver operator characteristic curves were generated.

RESULTS:

Complete data were available for 177 subjects. Medical doctors/nurse practitioners made correct predictions in 129 (79.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 73.4-85.8) of 162 encounters. Respiratory therapists were correct in 69 (67.6%; 95% CI, 58.6%-76.7%) of 102 encounters, and parents were correct in 116 (67.4%; 95% CI, 60.4%-74.4%) of 172 encounters. Logistic regression with disposition as the dependent variable revealed that provider VAS for likelihood of admission (odds ratio, 23.717; 95% CI, 9.298-60.495) was associated with admission. A receiver operator characteristic curve generated for actual disposition versus "likelihood of admission" VAS had an area under the curve of 0.856 (95% CI, 0.793-0.919). For admission, a VAS of greater than 7 was 89.9% specific, greater than 7.6 was 92.9% specific, and greater than 8.6 was 96% specific.

CONCLUSIONS:

Emergency department providers correctly predicted disposition 80% of the time. Providers were particularly likely to correctly predict admission. A VAS score of 7 or greater is nearly 90% specific for admission, with specificity increasing at higher values.

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