The management of acute pancreatitis (AP) in children was historically derived from adult practice recommendations. Pediatric-specific recommendations for treatment of AP were recently developed by North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, but their impact on clinical outcomes has yet to be evaluated. We developed an AP order set on the basis of these recommendations to assess impact on clinical outcomes.
Patients admitted to a single center with 3 children’s hospitals in 2017 and 2018 for isolated AP were included in a retrospective review. Patient demographic data, order set use, treatment variables (eg, fluid type, rate, type and timing of diet initiation, and narcotic use), and outcome variables (eg, length of stay [LOS], PICU admission, and 30-day readmission) were collected. Mixed-effects modeling was used to estimate the impact of order set use on clinical outcomes.
There were 159 pancreatitis encounters and 137 unique patients who met inclusion criteria. In 2018, when using the log transform of LOS in a linear mixed-effects model for clustering by hospital, there was a 10% decrease in mean LOS, but this failed to reach statistical significance (P = .30). Among the 107 encounters who received at least 1 dose of narcotic, there were significantly fewer doses prescribed after implementation of the order set: mean (SD) of5.22 (2.86) vs 3.59 (2.47) (P < .001). Thirty-day readmission (P = .25) and PICU admission rates (P = .31) were not different between years.
The implementation of a pancreatitis order set is associated with a significant decrease in narcotic use in pediatric patients with AP without increasing readmission rates or PICU admissions.