Background: Standardized pediatric hospitalist and orthopaedic co-management of spinal fusion patients may improve quality processes and outcomes. This approach has not been studied in a general academic center.
Objective: Estimate relative effects and feasibility of the interventions on quality outcomes, length of stay (LOS), catheter-acquired urinary tract infections (CAUTI), medication errors, and pain scores.
Design and setting: Retrospective cohort using interrupted time series, analyzing data from 83 patients aged 5 to 18 years admitted for posterior spinal fusion (PSF) in 2009 (N = 27), 2010 (N = 28), and 2011 (N = 28) on a children's service at a general academic tertiary care center.
Interventions: Multimodal approach to standardizing pediatric PSF postoperative care with interdepartmental development of order sets, clinical care guidelines, and routine pediatric hospitalist co-management of all pediatric PSF patients.
Measurements: Chi-square analysis of order set use, guideline use measured by proxy medication and documentation data. ANOVA for comparison of CAUTI and medication error rate and multivariate linear regression of LOS and pain scores.
Results: Pediatric hospitalist co-management documentation increased from 64% to 80%. Guideline use increased from 40% to 79%, and order set use was < 15%. CAUTI and medication error ratios remained low. Adjusted mean LOS decreased by 0.8 days (p = 0.039, 95% CI 0.7, 1.1). Pain scores did not differ.
Conclusion: Interdisciplinary, clinical guideline development and postoperative co-management significantly decreased hospital LOS in pediatric PSF patients. In a general academic medical center, this change may be attributed to a pediatric hospitalist academic team, a universal co-management process with well-communicated roles, and a pediatric hospital-based physician development of and adherence to standardized practice.