Implementation of Postoperative Respiratory Care for Pediatric Orthopedic Patients
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: At our institution, one-fifth of pediatric patients undergoing hip and spine surgery require prolonged oxygen supplementation, most likely due to postoperative atelectasis. Using quality improvement methodology, we aimed to implement an innovative postoperative respiratory care algorithm for hip and spine surgery patients, with a global aim of improving respiratory outcomes.
METHODS: A multidisciplinary team developed a care algorithm that relied on an activated respiratory therapist (RT) and engagement of patients and families. The algorithm was implemented via multiple rapid tests of change. Process measures representing the beginning and end of the care algorithm were plotted on standard run charts. We evaluated the association of algorithm implementation with a primary outcome of prolonged (>10 hours) oxygen supplementation via a quasi-experimental design using Fisher’s exact and t tests.
RESULTS: The team successfully implemented the algorithm, with a reliability to process of 80%. Key interventions included education of RTs, a daily huddle, and implementation of automated orders. Among all hip and spine patients, algorithm implementation was associated with a small, non–statistically significant decrease in prolonged oxygen use (21% to 16%). Among patients with underlying chronic conditions, there was a significant decrease in prolonged oxygen use from 22% to 6% after algorithm implementation (P = .04).
CONCLUSIONS: We implemented an innovative respiratory care algorithm in hip and spine surgery patients by empowering RTs and engaging families to participate in care. We found that this approach was associated with decreased prolonged oxygen use in patients with chronic underlying conditions.
- Accepted February 27, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics