Effect of a Computerized Reminder on Splinting of Pediatric Upper Limb Fractures in the Emergency Department

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The primary objective was to assess if a computerized pop-up reminder increased splint application before X-ray in pediatric emergency department patients with deformed upper limb fractures. The secondary objective was to evaluate whether this same reminder improved pharmaceutical analgesia provision in this population.


This was a prospective study of 518 pediatric emergency department patients with upper limb fractures after the implementation of a computerized pop-up reminder to give analgesia and apply a splint. The records of those with fractures requiring manipulation were identified and reviewed for data on demographics, clinical characteristics, splint application, and analgesic use. These data were compared with that in a previous retrospective study of 1407 patients in the same population before implementation of the computerized reminder.


There were 86 patients with upper limb fractures requiring manipulation identified during the study period. After the computerized intervention, splint application rates improved from 22% to 49% (P = <0.001). There was no significant change to analgesia provision in the first hour after presentation.


A computerized reminder at the point of X-ray ordering significantly improved splint application rates for children with deformed upper limb fractures, though it did not affect pharmaceutical analgesia provision. The computerized pop-up is cheap to implement, easy to use, and potentially transferrable to other institutions and for other uses.

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