Inpatient bronchiolitis guideline implementation and resource utilization

Vineeta Mittal, Cindy Darnell, Brian Walsh, Amit Mehta, Mohamed Badawy, Rustin Morse, Rodica Pop, Jerithea Tidwell, Maeve Sheehan, Sandra McDermott, Carolyn Cannon, Jeffrey Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Provider-dependent practice variation in children hospitalized with bronchiolitis is not uncommon. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) can streamline practice and reduce utilization however, CPG implementation is complex. METHODS: A multidisciplinary team developed and implemented CPGs for management of bronchiolitis for children <2 years old. Children with comorbidities, ICU admissions, and outside hospital transfers were excluded. Implementation involved teamwork and collaboration, provider education, online access to CPGs, order sets, data sharing, and monthly team meetings. Resource utilization was defined as use of chest x-rays (CXRs), antibiotics, steroids, and more than 2 doses of inhaled bronchodilator use. Outcome metrics included length of stay (LOS) and readmission rate. Bronchiolitis season was defined as September to April. Data were collected for 2 seasons post implementation. RESULTS: The number CPG-eligible patients in the pre- and 2 postimplementation periods were similar (1244, preimplementation; 1159, postimplementation season 1; 1283 postimplementation season 2). CXRs decreased from 59.7% to 45.1% (P < .0001) in season 1 to 39% (P < .0001) in season 2. Bronchodilator use decreased from 27% to 20% (P < .01) in season 1 to 14% (P < .002) in season 2. Steroid use significantly reduced from 19% to 11% (P < .01). Antibiotic use did not change significantly (P = .16). LOS decreased from 2.3 to 1.8 days (P < .0001) in season 1 and 1.9 days (P < .05) in season 2. All-cause 7-day readmission rate did not change (P = .45). CONCLUSIONS: Bronchiolitis CPG implementation resulted in reduced use of CXRs, bronchodilators, steroids, and LOS without affecting 7-day all-cause readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e730-e737
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Resources utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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