Strategies for sustaining high-quality pediatric asthma care in community hospitals

Sravya Jaladanki, Sarah B. Schechter, Marquita C. Genies, Michael D. Cabana, Roberta S. Rehm, Eric Howell, Sunitha V. Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify strategies associated with sustained guideline adherence and high-quality pediatric asthma care in community hospitals. Data sources: Primary qualitative data from clinicians in hospitals across the United States (collected December 2019–February 2021). Study design: Pathways for Improving Pediatric Asthma Care (PIPA) was a national quality improvement (QI) intervention. In a prior quantitative study, data from 23 community hospitals in PIPA were analyzed to identify sites with the highest and lowest performance in sustaining improvements for 2 years. In this qualitative study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with multidisciplinary clinicians from these hospitals to identify strategies associated with sustainability. Data collection/extraction methods: We purposefully sampled and interviewed participants involved in clinical care of children hospitalized with asthma at the identified hospitals (those with the highest/lowest sustainability performance). We transcribed and analyzed interview data using constant comparative methods. Principal findings: Clinicians (n = 19) from five higher- and three lower-performing hospitals participated. In higher-performing hospitals, dedicated local champions more consistently provided reminders of evidence-based practices and delivered ongoing education. They also modified/developed electronic health record (EHR) tools (e.g., order sets with decision support). Higher-performing hospitals had a collaborative culture receptive to practice change and set firm expectations that evidence-based practices would be followed without exception. In lower-performing hospitals, participants described unique barriers, including delays in modifying the EHR and lack of automation of EHR tools (requiring clinicians to remember new EHR tasks without automated prompts). Barriers to sustainability for all hospitals included challenges with quality monitoring, decreasing focus of local champions over time, and ongoing difficulties developing consensus around evidence-based practices. Conclusions: To better ensure sustained high-quality care for children with asthma and greater returns on QI investments, QI leaders should prioritize: designating long-term local champions to continue reminders and educational efforts and developing electronic order sets to provide ongoing decision support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-136
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Services Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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