Decreasing Exposure to Radiation, Surgical Risk, and Costs for Pediatric Complicated Pneumonia: A Guideline Evaluation

Rachel D. Quick, Michael J. Auth, Marisol Fernandez, Tory Meyer, Kathryn G. Merkel, Lynn M. Thoreson, Sarmistha B. Hauger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: This report describes the creation and successful implementation of a complicated pneumonia care algorithm at our institution. Outcomes are measured for specific goals of the algorithm: to decrease radiation exposure, surgical risk, and patient charges without adversely affecting clinical outcomes.

METHODS: We describe steps involved in algorithm creation and implementation at our institution. To depict outcomes of the algorithm, we completed a retrospective cohort study of hospitalized pediatric patients with a diagnosis of complicated pneumonia at a single institution between January 2010 and April 2016 who met criteria for the algorithm. Charts were manually reviewed and data were analyzed via Wilcoxon rank sum, χ2, and Fisher's exact tests.

RESULTS: Throughout the algorithm creation process, our institution began to see a change in practice. We saw a statistically significant decrease in the number of patients who underwent a chest computed tomography scan and an increase in patients who underwent a chest ultrasound (P < .001). We also saw an increase in the use of chest tube placement with fibrinolytics and a decrease in the use of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery as the initial chest procedure (P ≤ .001) after algorithm implementation. These interventions reduced related charges without significantly affecting length of stay, readmission rate, or other variables studied.

CONCLUSIONS: The collaborative creation and introduction of an algorithm for the management of complicated pneumonia at our institution, combined with an effort among physicians to incorporate evidence-based clinical care into practice, led to reduced radiation exposure, surgical risk, and cost to patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalHospital pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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