Introduction: Timely administration of corticosteroids improves asthma care in the pediatric emergency department (ED). Using the Model for Improvement, we aimed to decrease time to delivery of corticosteroids in patients presenting to the ED with an acute asthma exacerbation. Methods: This is a single-center, prospective, multidisciplinary quality improvement (QI) project targeting ED patients 1-18 years of age with an acute asthma exacerbation. We collected 5 months of baseline data from the arrival time of an ED patient with an asthma exacerbation with a Modified Pulmonary Index Score ≥5 to the time of administration of corticosteroids. A quality improvement project was launched in October 2017 involving multiple Plan-Do-Study-Act ramps. Improvement interventions continued for 9 months through June 2018, including reeducation of residents and nurses in the ED asthma order set and nursing treatment protocols, respectively, and changes to the electronic health record. Data were tacked for 15 additional months until September 2019. To promote the use of the nursing treatment protocol, we utilized real-time improvement feedback and continuing nursing education. Results: The mean percentage of patients receiving steroids within 60 minutes of arrival improved from 59.3% to 84.3% over the first 5 months. The mean time to the administration of steroids within 60 minutes of arrival improved from 71.4 to 48.1 minutes. There was no increase in ED return rates. Conclusions: Our project improved the percentage of patients with acute asthma exacerbations receiving steroids within 60 minutes of ED arrival and mean time to administration of steroids. We sustained improvement for 18 months after the implementation of our QI interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health