BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Asthma is a common reason for hospital readmission. The majority of children are not receiving adequate preventive care after discharge. Our objective is to decrease return visits to the emergency department (ED) or hospital for asthma through a series of interventions (eg, access to real-time claims data and structured follow-up phone calls) designed to increase preventive care.
METHODS: We performed a single-site quality improvement project for children 2 to 17 years old discharged with asthma from January 2010 to March 2014. We compared a baseline period and a stepwise intervention period including the following: brief follow-up phone calls to families, access to medication claims data, and structured phone calls. The primary outcome of return visits to the ED or hospital and preventive care outcomes (controller refills and ambulatory visits) up to 90 days were assessed using state all-payer and Medicaid data sets. Interrupted time series analysis was used to investigate secular trends.
RESULTS: Six hundred and seventy-seven asthma discharges were analyzed. The majority of children were 2 to 7 years old, African American, and insured by Medicaid. Successful phone contact occurred in 57% of encounters. Ninety-day revisits to the ED or hospital demonstrated a significant decline (15% to 8%; P < .05), but preventive care measures did not improve.
CONCLUSIONS: A process to improve transitions for children who are hospitalized with an asthma exacerbation that includes follow-up phone calls was associated with a decrease in ED or hospital revisits. The lack of a detectable increase in preventive care warrants further exploration.
- Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics