Send to

Choose Destination
Hosp Pediatr. 2018 Sep;8(9):570-577. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2017-0223. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Improving Influenza Testing and Treatment in Hospitalized Children.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Kaiser Permanente, Seattle, Washington.
Departments of Pediatrics and.
Health Policy and Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.
Departments of Pediatrics and



National guidelines recommend influenza testing for children hospitalized with influenza-like illness (ILI) during influenza season and treatment of those with confirmed influenza. Using quality improvement methods, we sought to increase influenza testing and treatment of children admitted to our hospital medicine service with ILI from 65% to 90% during the 2014-2015 influenza season.


We targeted several key drivers using multiple plan-do-study-act cycles. Interventions included awareness modules, biweekly flyers, and failure tracking. ILI admissions (fever plus respiratory symptoms) were reviewed weekly once surveillance data revealed elevated influenza activity. Appropriate testing and treatment of ILI was defined as influenza testing and/or treatment within 24 hours of admission unless a known cause other than influenza was present. We used statistical process control charts to track progress using established quality improvement methods. Appropriate testing and treatment was also assessed in the 2016-2017 influenza season by using similar methods, although no new interventions were introduced.


For the 2014-2015 season, appropriate testing and treatment increased from a baseline mean of 65% to 91% within 3 months. For the 2016-2017 season, appropriate testing and treatment remained at a mean of 80% throughout the influenza season.


Appropriate influenza testing and treatment increased to 90% in children with ILI during the 2014-2015 season. Improvements were sustained in a subsequent influenza season. Our initiative improved recognition of influenza and likely increased treatment opportunities. Future work should be focused on wider implementation and further reducing variation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center