Initiative improves timeliness of pediatric endoscopies

January 21, 2014
Initiative improves timeliness of pediatric endoscopies

(HealthDay)—Quality improvement methods and tools can improve the timeliness of pediatric endoscopic procedures, according to research published online Jan. 20 in Pediatrics.

Gitit Tomer, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues formed a initiative at Children's Hospital at Montefiore to improve the efficiency of the pediatric unit. Causes for case delays related to equipment, patients, and physicians were identified, and quality improvement tools, including Pareto charts, cause and effect diagrams, process flow mapping, and statistical process control charts, were used for analysis.

The researchers observed significant reductions in average delays for endoscopies for the first case (17 to 10 minutes), the second case (39 to 25 minutes), the third case (61 to 45 minutes), and the fourth case (79 to 51 minutes). There was a significant decrease of 65 minutes in the total delay time. The average percentage of first endoscopy cases starting within five minutes of the scheduled time increased from 36 to 47 percent (P = 0.07); starting within 10 minutes, from 51 to 61 percent (P = 0.04); and starting within 15 minutes, from 61 to 79 percent (P = 0.01).

"Applying quality improvement methods and tools helped improve pediatric endoscopy timeliness and significantly decreased total delays," the authors write.

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