OBJECTIVES To examine bacterial respiratory cultures in children with neurologic impairment (NI) (eg, cerebral palsy), both with and without tracheostomies, who were hospitalized with acute respiratory infections (ARIs) (eg, pneumonia) and to compare culture results across hospitals and age groups. METHODS This multicenter retrospective cohort study included ARI hospitalizations for children aged 1 to 18 years with NI between 2007 and 2012 who had a bacterial respiratory culture obtained within 2 days of admission. Data from 5 children’s hospitals in the Pediatric Health Information System Plus database were used. Organisms consistent with oral flora and nonspeciated organisms were omitted from analysis. The prevalence of positive respiratory culture results and the prevalence of organisms identified were compared across hospitals and age groups and in subanalyses of children with and without tracheostomies by using generalized estimating equations to account for within-patient clustering. RESULTS Of 4900 hospitalizations, 693 from 485 children had bacterial respiratory cultures obtained. Of these, 54.5% had positive results, although this varied across hospitals (range 18.6%–83.2%; P < .001). Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were the most commonly identified organisms across hospitals and age groups and in patients with and without tracheostomies. Large variation in growth prevalence was identified across hospitals but not age groups. CONCLUSIONS The bacteriology of ARI in hospitalized children with NI differs from that of otherwise healthy children. Significant variation in prevalence of positive bacterial respiratory culture results and organism growth were observed across hospitals, which may be secondary to local environmental factors and microbiology reporting practices.
BACKGROUND Communication between inpatient pediatric hospital medicine (HM) and primary care providers (PCPs) is important for quality care. As provider workload increases, it is important to focus on a means to improve communication efficiency. Our goal was to increase the percentage of HM admissions using 1-way communication from 0% to 35% over a 16-month period. METHODS HM providers and PCPs collaborated to identify 12 admission diagnoses for which 1-way communication could be used. Using quality improvement methods, we studied the implementation of “Leave a Message” (LAM) calls for 1-way communication and providing PCPs with the option to place a return call. Control charts were used to track LAM call use and balancing measures of PCP return phone calls, additional PCP communications, and 7-day readmissions over time. RESULTS A total of 778 LAM calls were placed by HM providers over 16 months. The percentage of LAM calls out of all PCP calls placed ranged from 0% to 35% during this time, increasing significantly during winter months and before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Only 0.4% (n = 3) of LAM calls were returned by PCPs. Estimated PCP return phone calls were reduced by 11.1 calls per week. CONCLUSIONS We created a system for 1-way telephone communication between HM providers and PCPs for common, simple admissions and reduced the need for PCP return phone calls. The low percentage of LAM calls returned by PCPs may suggest that 1-way communication is adequate for most simple admissions.