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Pediatrics. 2018 Jun;141(6). pii: e20170485. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-0485. Epub 2018 May 11.

Interventions to Reduce Over-Utilized Tests and Treatments in Bronchiolitis.

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Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado;
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado; and.
Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado.
Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, Aurora, Colorado.



The American Academy of Pediatrics published bronchiolitis clinical practice guidelines in 2014 recommending against the routine use of bronchodilators, chest radiographs, or respiratory viral testing in children with a clinical diagnosis of bronchiolitis. Our aim in this project was to align care with the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical practice guidelines by decreasing the overuse of these interventions.


This study included patients who were admitted to a non-ICU setting with a primary or secondary diagnosis of bronchiolitis. The team used a multidisciplinary kickoff event to understand the problem and develop interventions, including sharing provider-specific data and asking providers to sign a pledge to reduce use. We used a novel, real-time data dashboard to collect and analyze data.


Special cause variation on control charts indicated improvement for all outcomes for inpatients during the intervention season. Pre- and postanalyses in which we compared baseline to intervention values for all admitted patients and patients who were discharged from the emergency department or urgent care revealed a significant reduction in the ordering of chest radiographs (from 22.7% to 13.6%; P ≤ .001), respiratory viral testing (from 12.5% to 9.8%; P = .001), and bronchodilators (from 17.5% to 10.3%; P = .001) without changes in balancing measures (eg, hospital readmission within 7 days [1.7% (preanalysis) and 1.0% (postanalysis); P = .21]) for bronchiolitis.


This multidisciplinary improvement initiative resulted in a significant reduction in use for bronchiolitis care at our institution. Our approach, which included a novel, real-time data dashboard and interventions such as individual providers pledging to reduce use, may have the potential to reduce overuse in other settings and diseases.

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