Transitions between sites of care are inherent to all hospitalizations, yet we lack pediatric-specific transitions-of-care quality measures. We describe the development and validation of new transitions-of-care quality measures obtained from medical record data.
After an evidence review, a multistakeholder panel prioritized quality measures by using the RAND/University of California, Los Angeles modified Delphi method. Three measures were endorsed, operationalized, and field-tested at 3 children’s hospitals and 2 community hospitals: quality of hospital-to-home transition record content, timeliness of discharge communication between inpatient and outpatient providers, and ICU-to-floor transition note quality. Summary scores were calculated on a scale from 0 to 100; higher scores indicated better quality. We examined between-hospital variation in scores, associations of hospital-to-home transition quality scores with readmission and emergency department return visit rates, and associations of ICU-to-floor transition quality scores with ICU readmission and length of stay.
A total of 927 charts from 5 hospitals were reviewed. Mean quality scores were 65.5 (SD 18.1) for the hospital-to-home transition record measure, 33.3 (SD 47.1) for the discharge communication measure, and 64.9 (SD 47.1) for the ICU-to-floor transition measure. The mean adjusted hospital-to-home transition summary score was 61.2 (SD 17.1), with significant variation in scores between hospitals (P < .001). Hospital-to-home transition quality scores were not associated with readmissions or emergency department return visits. ICU-to-floor transition note quality scores were not associated with ICU readmissions or hospital length of stay.
These quality measures were feasible to implement in diverse settings and varied across hospitals. The development of these measures is an important step toward standardized evaluation of the quality of pediatric transitional care.