Early Detection and Treatment for Children Experiences and outcome of implementation at a pediatric hospital

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Early recognition of severely ill children is necessary to prevent serious adverse events and unexpected death. To promote patient safety the Early Detection and Treatment Program for Children (EDT-C) was developed at a University Children’s Hospital in Sweden. This program consists of validated tools for communication and teamwork combined with the Pediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS) and guidelines for recommended actions. Ward specific guidelines were developed and EDT-C instructors were trained. The aims were to describe healthcare professionals’ experience of caring for acutely, severely ill children (Study I) and to evaluate the implementation of EDT-C (Study II, III, IV). The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework guided both implementation and the research study.Before introducing the EDT-C, focus group interviews were performed to explore healthcare professionals’ experience of caring for acutely, severely ill children. A context assessment, using the Alberta Context Tool (ACT) was also conducted. After implementation, a retrospective review of the electronic patient records (EPR) to assess adherence to guidelines were carried out. Instructors’ and healthcare professionals’ experiences from the implementation of EDT-C were gathered through individual interviews. To evaluate the introduction of EDT-C in relation to admission and stay at intensive care a retrospective before-after study using EPR data was performed. Interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis and descriptive statistical methods were utilized for quantitative data.The caring for acutely severely ill children was described as being in a multifaceted area of tension with paradoxical elements where contradictory emotions emerged. According to documentation, children at a very high risk of clinical deterioration according to PEWS were identified. Adherence to actions prescribed in guidelines varied. Healthcare professionals and instructors described EDT-C as suitable for clinical practice and that it created a more structured way of working. It was furthermore described that PEWS measurement had become routine practice at the hospital.EDT-C can lead to increased knowledge about early detection of deterioration, strengthen the healthcare in their profession, optimize treatment and teamwork and thereby has potential to increase patient safety for children treated in hospitals.