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Large study identifies most costly adverse events in children's hospitals
Date:6/1/2008

A large study of health records from 38 American childrens hospitals has measured adverse events that most increase length of stay and overall cost. The researchers say their findings provide useful targets for hospital programs aimed at preventing harm to young patients.

Our study offers a framework for physicians, researchers and administrators to think about pediatric-specific adverse events that are potentially preventable, said study leader Samir S. Shah, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Among the areas in which childrens hospitals can address quality improvement, it is important to set priorities. This study provides some guidance.

In a study in the June issue of Pediatrics, the researchers analyzed information from more than 430,000 discharges from 38 pediatric hospitals in the United States that participated in the Pediatric Health Information Systems database in 2006. They searched the database for 12 different adverse patient safety events, designated pediatric-specific quality indicators (PDIs) by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The adverse events included infections and other complications that occurred as unintended consequences of treatment and hospitalization.

Our study was the first to use this pediatric-specific tool to screen for adverse events, said co-author Matthew Kronman, M.D., a hospital-based specialist in infectious diseases at Childrens Hospital. AHRQ had previously developed patient-safety indicators for adult patients, but some of those adverse events in adults, such as hip fractures after a fall in the hospital, were uncommon in children. Our findings suggest that the pediatric safety indicators reflect a better understanding of the situation of children.

The total number of adverse events was 6,656, or approximately 1.5 percent of the sample. Overall, the most frequent adverse events in hospitalized children were in
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Contact: John Ascenzi
Ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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