A Quality Improvement Intervention Bundle to Reduce 30-Day Pediatric Readmissions

Pediatr Qual Saf. 2020 Feb 28;5(2):e264. doi: 10.1097/pq9.0000000000000264. eCollection 2020 Mar-Apr.


Introduction: Pediatric hospital readmissions can represent gaps in care quality between discharge and follow-up, including social factors not typically addressed by hospitals. This study aimed to reduce the 30-day pediatric readmission rate on 2 general pediatric services through an intervention to enhance care spanning the hospital stay, discharge, and follow-up process.

Methods: A multidisciplinary team developed an intervention bundle based on a needs assessment and evidence-based models of transitional care. The intervention included pre-discharge planning with a transition coordinator, screening and intervention for adverse social determinants of health (SDH), medication reconciliation after discharge, communication with the primary care provider, access to a hospital-based transition clinic, and access to a 24-hour direct telephone line staffed by hospital attending pediatricians. These were implemented sequentially from October 2013 to February 2017. The primary outcome was the readmission rate within 30 days of index discharge. The length of stay was a balancing measure.

Results: During the intervention, the included services discharged 4,853 children. The pre-implementation readmission rate of 10.3% declined to 7.4% and remained stable during a 4-month post-intervention observation period. Among 1,394 families screened for adverse SDH, 48% reported and received assistance with ≥ 1 concern. The length of stay increased from 4.10 days in 2013 to 4.30 days in 2017.

Conclusions: An intervention bundle, including SDH, was associated with a sustained reduction in readmission rates to 2 general pediatric services. Transitional care that addresses multiple domains of family need during a child's health crisis can help reduce pediatric readmissions.