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Pediatr Qual Saf. 2019 Aug 30;4(5):e205. doi: 10.1097/pq9.0000000000000205. eCollection 2019 Sep-Oct.

Development and Implementation of a Surgical Quality Improvement Pathway for Pediatric Intussusception Patients.

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Department of Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Program for Patient Safety and Quality, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.


Children with intussusception can be admitted or discharged from the emergency department (ED) following enema reduction, but little is known about best practices for surgical follow-up and the need for a return to care.


We developed a standardized clinical assessment and management plan (SCAMP) for ileocolic intussusception to enable the discharge from the ED of successfully reduced patients meeting certain criteria with 2 planned follow-up phone calls by surgical personnel after discharge. Outcomes included incidence of complications in discharged patients, bacteremia, the success of follow-up phone calls, rates of recurrent intussusception, and return to care.


Of the 118 patient encounters treated through the SCAMP in 2 pilot studies from February 2013 to December 2017, 76% met discharge criteria, of whom 88% underwent outpatient management. There were no instances of bowel perforation, necrosis, or death in the discharged group. No patients developed bacteremia despite withholding antibiotics for the indication of intussusception. Sixty-two percent and 59% of patients received 24-hour follow-up phone calls, and 28% and 55% of patients received second follow-up phone calls in pilots 1 and 2, respectively. Of those successfully discharged, 74% did not return to care, 19% returned for recurrent intussusception, and 7% returned for unrelated symptoms. Nearly all patients who returned to care did so through the ED and not the clinic.


Implementation of the SCAMP demonstrated that patients meeting certain criteria could be safely discharged from the ED, avoid antibiotics, and safely undergo phone-based follow-up for concerns of recurrent intussusception.

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