Establishing benchmarks for the hospitalized care of children with asthma, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia

Kavita Parikh, Matt Hall, Vineeta Mittal, Amanda Montalbano, Grant M. Mussman, Rustin B. Morse, Paul Hain, Karen M. Wilson, Samir S. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Asthma, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis are the leading causes of admission for pediatric patients; however, the lack of accepted benchmarks is a barrier to quality improvement efforts. Using data from children hospitalized with asthma, bronchiolitis, or pneumonia, the goals of this study were to: (1) measure the 2012 performance of freestanding children's hospitals using clinical quality indicators; and (2) construct achievable benchmarks of care (ABCs) for the clinical quality indicators.

METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional trial using the Pediatric Health Information System database. Patient inclusions varied according to diagnosis: asthma (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] codes 493.0-493.92) from 2 to 18 years of age; bronchiolitis (ICD-9-CM codes 466.11 and 466.19) from 2 months to 2 years of age; and pneumonia (ICD-9-CM codes 480-486, 487.0) from 2 months to 18 years of age. ABC methods use the best-performing hospitals that comprise at least 10% of the total population to compute the benchmark.

RESULTS: Encounters from 42 hospitals included: asthma, 22 186; bronchiolitis, 14 882; and pneumonia, 12 983. Asthma ABCs include: chest radiograph utilization, 24.5%; antibiotic administration, 6.6%; and ipratropium bromide use >2 days, 0%. Bronchiolitis ABCs include: chest radiograph utilization, 32.4%; viral testing, 0.6%; antibiotic administration, 18.5%; bronchodilator use >2 days, 11.4%; and steroid use, 6.4%. Pneumonia ABCs include: complete blood cell count utilization, 28.8%; viral testing, 1.5%; initial narrow-spectrum antibiotic use, 60.7%; erythrocyte sedimentation rate, 3.5%; and C-reactive protein, 0.1%.

CONCLUSIONS: We report achievable benchmarks for inpatient care for asthma, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia. The establishment of national benchmarks will drive improvement at individual hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Asthma
  • Benchmarks
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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