Effectiveness of Pediatric Asthma Pathways for Hospitalized Children: A Multicenter, National Analysis

Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings (PRIS) Network

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26 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if clinical pathways affect care and outcomes for children hospitalized with asthma using a multicenter study. Study design: This was a retrospective, multicenter cohort study using an administrative database, the Pediatric Health Information System. We evaluated the impact of inpatient pediatric asthma pathways on children age 2-17 years admitted for asthma from 2006 to 2015 in 42 children's hospitals. Date of pathway implementation for each hospital was collected via survey. Using generalized estimating equations with an interrupted time series approach (to account for secular trends), we determined the association of pathway implementation with length of stay (LOS), 30-day readmission, chest radiograph utilization, ipratropium administration >24 hours, and administration of bronchodilators, systemic steroids, and antibiotics. All analyses were risk-adjusted for patient and hospital characteristics. Results: Clinical pathway implementation was associated with an 8.8% decrease in LOS (95% CI 6.7%-10.9%), 3.1% decrease in hospital costs (95% CI 1.9%-4.3%), increased odds of bronchodilator administration (OR 1.53[1.21-1.95]) and decreased odds of antibiotic administration (OR 0.93[0.87-0.99]) (n = 189 331). We found no associations between pathway implementation and systemic steroid administration, ipratropium administration for >24 hours, chest radiograph utilization, or 30-day readmission. Conclusions: Clinical pathways can decrease LOS, costs, and unnecessary antibiotic use without increasing rates of readmissions, leading to higher value care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-171.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • clinical pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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