Pediatrics

Multidisciplinary Engagement Increases Medications in-Hand for Patients Hospitalized With Asthma

BACKGROUND:

Asthma exacerbations in children are a leading cause of missed school days and health care use. Patients discharged from the hospital often do not fill discharge prescriptions and are at risk for future exacerbations.

METHODS:

A multidisciplinary team aimed to increase the percentage of patients discharged from the hospital after an asthma exacerbation with their medications in-hand from 15% to 80%. Tools from the model of improvement were used to establish a process map, key driver diagram, and iterative plan-do-study-act cycles. Statistical process control charts were used to track the proportion of patients discharged with their medications in-hand as the primary outcome. Initiating multidisciplinary daily discharge huddles on the unit was the key intervention that facilitated change in the system.

RESULTS:

During the study period, the percentage of patients with asthma who received their medications in-hand increased from 15% to >80% for all eligible children and >90% for children with public insurance. Children had a median age of 6.7 years, 47% were female, and 83.8% identified as non-Hispanic African American. Through iterative meetings and mapping with the multidisciplinary team, a process map for bedside delivery and a key driver diagram were created. Balancing measures, specifically length of stay and discharge medications forgotten at the hospital, remained constant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Improvements in increasing medication possession at the time of discharge for children hospitalized with asthma were facilitated by multidisciplinary engagement. Standardizing discharge initiatives may play a key role in improving discharge transitions for children with asthma.

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