By: Joann Schulte, DO, MPH
|Photo by Dana Beveridge via Flickr|
Four researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital led by Dr. Florence Bourgeois (doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-1278) looked at data for a 3-year period ending in 2012, examining variation in admissions to tertiary pediatric hospitals. Using data from the Pediatric Hospital Information System, an administrative database containing information about pediatric admissions and visits, the researchers focused on seven common diagnoses that could be serious, resulting in admissions approximately 10 percent of the time: asthma, cellulitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, kidney infections, seizures and concussions.
Wide variations in admissions were found for concussion (between 5 and72 percent), pneumonia (19 to 69 percent) and bronchiolitis (19 to 65 percent). Such differences might be related to the patient population, practice patterns of physicians and availability of care in other settings.
Understanding the variation in care is an important part of providing the best care for children. Such research is also important in understanding factors associated with admissions, which is a more expensive form of care. In 2006, the median daily cost for a pediatric admission was estimated to be $3,000.
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