Caring for Children With Medical Complexity With the Emergency Information Form


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Abstract

Background and ObjectiveThe American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an emergency information form (EIF) for children with medical complexity (CMC) to facilitate emergency care. We sought to increase the EIF completion rate at our children's hospital's CMC clinic and to evaluate the effect on caregiver and emergency department (ED) provider opinion of preparation, comfort, and communication.MethodsWe used a pre/post–quality improvement design. The main outcomes were (1) the proportion of completed EIFs and (2) caregiver and ED provider opinion of preparation, comfort, and communication, using a Likert scale survey (1, low; 5, high).ResultsEmergency information form completion increased from 3.1% (4/133) before the intervention to 47.0% (78/166) after (P < 0.001). Twenty-three providers completed presurveys, and 8 completed postsurveys. Seventy-two caregivers completed presurveys, and 38 completed postsurveys (25 with ED visit and 13 without). There were no changes in preparation, comfort, or communication for caregivers who had an ED visit after the intervention. For those without a postintervention ED visit, caregiver median scores rose for preparation (4 [interquartile range {IQR}, 3–5] vs 5 [IQR, 4–5], P = 0.02) and comfort (4 [IQR, 2.25–5] vs 5 [IQR, 4–5], P = 0.05). After the intervention, ED providers had increased median communication scores (3 [IQR, 2.75–4.25] vs 5 [IQR, 4–5], P = 0.02), whereas scores of preparation and comfort were unchanged.ConclusionA quality improvement project at a CMC clinic increased EIF completion, caregiver preparation and comfort, and ED provider communication in emergencies.

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