To describe the effect of implementing an evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the inpatient care of infants with bronchiolitis at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A multidisciplinary team generated the guideline for infants ≤1 year old who were admitted to the hospital with a first-time episode of typical bronchiolitis. The guideline was implemented January 15, 1997, and data on all patients admitted with bronchiolitis from that date through March 27, 1997, were compared with data on similar patients admitted in the same periods in the years 1993 through 1996. Data were extracted from hospital charts and clinical and financial databases. They included LOS and use and costs of resources ancillary to bed occupancy.
After implementation of the guideline, admissions decreased 29% and mean LOS decreased 17%. Nasopharyngeal washings for respiratory syncytial virus were obtained in 52% fewer patients. Twenty percent fewer chest radiographs were ordered. There were significant reductions in the use of all respiratory therapies, with a 30% decrease in the use of at least 1 β-agonist inhalation therapy. In addition, 51% fewer repeated inhalations were administered. Mean costs for all resources ancillary to bed occupancy decreased 37%. Mean costs for respiratory care services decreased 77%.
An evidence-based clinical practice guideline for managing bronchiolitis was highly successful in modifying care during its first year of implementation.guideline, bronchiolitis, evidence-based medicine, pediatrics, outcome research.