Quality Initiative to Improve time to Antibiotics for Febrile Pediatric Patients with Potential Neutropenia

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Abstract

Introduction:

In patients who are immunocompromised, fever may indicate a life-threatening infection. Prompt time to antibiotic administration in febrile patients at risk for neutropenia has been identified by national and international panels as a key benchmark of quality care in emergent situations. A quality improvement initiative to improve health care provided in a pediatric emergency department (ED) is described.

Methods:

A clinical pathway was previously initiated in a pediatric ED with a goal of improving time to antibiotics for febrile neutropenia patients. An agreed upon pathway and order set being initiated. Improvements were seen but not to the desired level. This project involved an improvement cycle that focused on nonvalue added time in the workflow.

Results:

Percent of patients receiving antibiotics within the goal time of 1 hour increased from 40% to 80% with the intervention. Process measures including arrival to ED bed time, ED bed to antibiotic order time and antibiotic order time to delivery time were followed.

Conclusion:

Clinical guidelines, order sets and detailed understanding of the actual workflow at the point of care delivery can be instrumental in achieving the goals of reducing time to antibiotics.

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