Evidence-based Standardization of Constipation Management in the Emergency Department: A Quality Improvement Study.

Pediatric Quality & Safety
Matthew J LipshawEileen Murtagh Kurowski

Abstract

Constipation is a common problem in pediatric patients. Abdominal radiographs (AXRs) are frequently obtained in the pediatric emergency department for diagnosis despite their poor reliability to rule out underlying pathology or prognostic ability to determine the degree of constipation. The goal of this quality improvement (QI) initiative was to standardize the diagnosis and management of constipation in the pediatric emergency department and urgent care in patients ages 6 months to 21 years and decrease AXR use by 20% and sustain this reduction for 12 months. This prospective QI project involved a multidisciplinary team at a large urban pediatric tertiary care center. The study team constructed a key driver diagram and identified interventions, such as creating a standardized evaluation and management algorithm for constipation, using free open-access medical education platforms, incorporating the electronic medical record interface, and expanding educational conferences to include standardized approach and discharge instructions for patients with constipation across all acuity levels. The primary measure of AXR utilization was tracked overtime on a statistical process control chart to evaluate the impact of interventions. The...Continue Reading

References

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