Nighttime intensivist staffing and the timing of death among ICU decedents: a retrospective cohort study. (Carmean)

Reineck LA, Wallace DJ, Barnato AE, Kahn JM. Nighttime intensivist staffing and the timing of death among ICU decedents: a retrospective cohort study. Crit Care. 2013 Oct 3;17(5):R216.

INTRODUCTION: Intensive care units (ICUs) are increasingly adopting 24-hour intensivist physician staffing. Although nighttime intensivist staffing does not consistently reduce mortality, it may affect other outcomes such as the quality of end-of-life care.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of ICU decedents using the 2009–2010 Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation clinical information system linked to a survey of ICU staffing practices. We restricted the analysis to ICUs with high-intensity daytime staffing, in which the addition of nighttime staffing does not influence mortality. We used multivariable regression to assess the relationship between nighttime intensivist staffing and two separate outcomes potentially related to the quality of end-of-life care: time from ICU admission to death and death at night.

RESULTS: Of 30,456 patients admitted to 27 high-intensity daytime staffed ICUs, 3,553 died in the hospital within 30 days. After adjustment for potential confounders, admission to an ICU with nighttime intensivist staffing was associated with a shorter duration between ICU admission and death (adjusted difference: -2.5 days, 95% CI -3.5 to -1.5, p-value < 0.001) and a decreased odds of nighttime death (adjusted odds ratio: 0.75, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.94, p-value 0.011) compared to admission to an ICU without nighttime intensivist staffing.

CONCLUSIONS: Among ICU decedents, nighttime intensivist staffing is associated with reduced time between ICU admission and death and reduced odds of nighttime death.

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Quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions. (Vats)

Stang AS, Straus SE, Crotts J, Johnson DW, Guttmann A. Quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions. Pediatrics. 2013 Oct;132(4):752-762.

OBJECTIVE: Identifying gaps in care and improving outcomes for severely ill children requires the development of evidence-based performance measures. We used a systematic process involving multiple stakeholders to identify and develop evidence-based quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions relevant to any emergency department (ED) setting where children are seen.

METHODS: A prioritized list of clinical conditions was selected by an advisory panel. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify existing indicators, as well as guidelines and evidence that could be used to inform the creation of new indicators. A multiphase, Rand-modified Delphi method consisting of anonymous questionnaires and a face-to-face meeting of an expert panel was used for indicator selection. Measure specifications and evidence grading were created for each indicator, and the feasibility and reliability of measurement was assessed in a tertiary care pediatric ED.

RESULTS: The conditions selected for indicator development were diabetic ketoacidosis, status asthmaticus, anaphylaxis, status epilepticus, severe head injury, and sepsis. The majority of the 62 selected indicators reflect ED processes (84%) with few indicators reflecting structures (11%) or outcomes (5%). Thirty-seven percent (n = 23) of the selected indicators are based on moderate or high quality evidence. Data were available and interrater reliability acceptable for the majority of indicators.

CONCLUSIONS: A systematic process involving multiple stakeholders was used to develop evidence-based quality indicators for high acuity pediatric conditions. Future work will test the reliability and feasibility of data collection on these indicators across the spectrum of ED settings that provide care for children.

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Measuring hospital quality using pediatric readmission and revisit rates. (Vats)

Bardach NS, Vittinghoff E, Asteria-Peñaloza R, et al. Measuring hospital quality using pediatric readmission and revisit rates. Pediatrics. 2013 Sep;132(3):429-36.

OBJECTIVE: To assess variation among hospitals on pediatric readmission and revisit rates and to determine the number of high- and low-performing hospitals.

METHODS: In a retrospective analysis using the State Inpatient and Emergency Department Databases from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project with revisit linkages available, we identified pediatric (ages 1-20 years) visits with 1 of 7 common inpatient pediatric conditions (asthma, dehydration, pneumonia, appendicitis, skin infections, mood disorders, and epilepsy). For each condition, we calculated rates of all-cause readmissions and rates of revisits (readmission or presentation to the emergency department) within 30 and 60 days of discharge. We used mixed logistic models to estimate hospital-level risk-standardized 30-day revisit rates and to identify hospitals that had performance statistically different from the group mean.

RESULTS: Thirty-day readmission rates were low (<10.0%) for all conditions. Thirty-day rates of revisit to the inpatient or emergency department setting ranged from 6.2% (appendicitis) to 11.0% (mood disorders). Study hospitals (n = 958) had low condition-specific visit volumes (37.0%-82.8% of hospitals had <25 visits). The only condition with >1% of hospitals labeled as different from the mean on 30-day risk-standardized revisit rates was mood disorders (4.2% of hospitals [n = 15], range of hospital performance 6.3%-15.9%).

CONCLUSIONS: We found that when comparing hospitals’ performances to the average, few hospitals that care for children are identified as high- or low-performers for revisits, even for common pediatric diagnoses, likely due to low hospital volumes. This limits the usefulness of condition-specific readmission or revisit measures in pediatric quality measurement.

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