Appropriateness of emergency department use in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: a quality improvement opportunity

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Sep;59(3):324-6. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000457.


Objectives: We sought to characterize emergency department (ED) encounters for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to identify areas for prevention.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 5 consecutive ED encounters at 7 centers was performed.

Results: Of 35 unique encounters by 32 patients, 3 main factors contributed to ED utilization: disease severity or course, day or time of care, and physician instruction. Of the ED encounters, approximately one-fifth were judged medically unnecessary, and one-half avoidable in a more optimal health care system.

Conclusions: ED visits by pediatric patients with IBD may be reduced in a more optimal health care system.

MeSH terms

  • After-Hours Care
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Disease Progression
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Misuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors