Program cuts unnecessary referrals for scoliosis in teens

Program cuts unnecessary referrals for scoliosis in teens
Implementation of a quality improvement program correlates with a sustained reduction in unnecessary referrals for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in Pediatrics.

(HealthDay)—Implementation of a quality improvement program correlates with a sustained reduction in unnecessary referrals for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), according to a study published online Feb. 18 in Pediatrics.

Louis Vernacchio, M.D., from the Pediatric Physicians' Organization at Children's in Brookline, Mass., and colleagues tracked referral patterns for AIS in the two years post-implementation of a quality improvement program consisting of physician education, decision support tools at the point of care, and feedback. Patterns were compared with those from the two years pre-intervention.

The researchers observed a significant, 20.4 percent decrease in the initial visits to for AIS (from 5.1 to 4.1 per 1,000 adolescents per year). After initiation of the program there was a rapid change in referral patterns, which was sustained over the two-year period. As a result of the program, 66 initial and 131 total AIS specialty visits were avoided.

"We found that a quality improvement program consisting of physician education, decision support available at the point of care, and longitudinal feedback of data on referral patterns substantially reduced unnecessary visits to orthopedic surgery for AIS," the authors write. "This approach could serve as a model for the development of other quality improvement programs that seek to shift the of care from specialty to primary care in an attempt to maintain or enhance value while reducing cost."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Scoliosis surgery improves adolescents' quality of life

date Nov 02, 2012

(HealthDay)—Surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) significantly improves quality of life (QOL), according to research published online Oct. 22 in the Journal of Spinal Disorders & ...

ER referral ups specialist access for publicly insured

date Feb 04, 2013

(HealthDay)—Specialists are more willing to see publicly insured children if they are referred from an emergency department, according to research published online Jan. 10 in the Annals of Emergency Me ...

InteguSeal does not reduce scoliosis surgery infections

date Jul 26, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Preoperative cyanoacrylate sealant (InteguSeal) application does not reduce the risk of surgical site infection for patients undergoing scoliosis surgery, according to a study published online ...

Recommended for you

Obese teens in study less likely to use contraception

date 20 hours ago

A study of nearly 1,000 teens found that sexually active obese adolescents were significantly less likely to use contraception than normal weight peers, putting them at higher risk of unintended pregnancy.

Extracurricular sports produce disciplined preteens

date 20 hours ago

Regular, structured extracurricular sports seem to help kids develop the discipline they need in order to engage effectively in the classroom, according to a new study led by Linda Pagani of the University ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.