Introduction: Pediatric pain is often under-treated in emergency departments (EDs), which is known to cause short and long-term harm. A recent quality improvement collaborative (QIC) was successful in improving treatment of children’s pain across 4 EDs in our city. A new QIC was then formed among EDs across our province to improve treatment of presenting and procedural pain. Aims were to improve the proportion of children <12 years of age who receive topical anesthetic before needle procedures from 13% to 50%; and for children <17 years of age with fractures: to 1) improve the proportion who receive analgesic medication from 35% to 50%; 2) improve the proportion who have a documented pain score from 23% to 50%, and 3) reduce median time to analgesia from 59 minutes to 30 minutes, within 1 year. Methods: Invitations to participate in the QIC were sent to all 113 EDs in the province that treat children and had not participated in the previous QIC. Each site was asked to form a project team, participate in monthly webinars, develop key driver diagrams and project aims, undertake PDSA tests of change, and audit charts to assess performance. Sites are given a list of 20 randomly selected charts per month for audit. Audit data was entered into REDCap and uploaded to a provincial run chart dashboard. All participating sites received a “comfort kit” consisting of distraction items for children as well as educational materials. Measures of presenting pain included proportion of children <17 years with a diagnosis of fracture who have a documented pain score, proportion who receive an analgesic medication, and minutes to analgesia. The measure for procedural pain was the proportion of children <12 years who receive topical anesthetic prior to a needle procedure for a laboratory test. Length of stay for pediatric patients and all patients were balancing measures. Run charts were used to detect special cause. Difference in proportions were compared using 2. Final analysis will include interrupted time series. Results: 34 of 113 invited sites (30%) agreed to participate, including rural and regional representation from all geographic zones; 4222 visits since June 2016 were analyzed. Implementation began June 2017. Comparing the first 4 months following implementation to the preceding year, the proportion of children receiving topical anesthetic prior to needles increased from 13% to 25% (p<0.001). For children with fractures, the proportion with pain scores increased from 23% to 35% (p<0.001), proportion receiving analgesic medication increased from 35% to 42% (p<0.001), and median minutes to analgesia decreased from 59 to 43. Insufficient time points at this stage preclude identification of special cause. Conclusion: This province-wide QIC has already resulted in significant progress toward aims during the first 4 months of implementation. The QIC approach shows promise for improving pain outcomes in children visiting diverse EDs across a province.
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