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Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000457
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Appropriateness of Emergency Department Use in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Quality Improvement Opportunity

Hoffenberg, Edward J.*; Park, K.T.; Dykes, Dana M.; Fridge, Jacqueline§; Kappelman, Michael D.||; Leibowitz, Ian H.; Tsou, V. Marc#; Colletti, Richard B.**

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Objectives: We sought to characterize emergency department (ED) encounters for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to identify areas for prevention.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 5 consecutive ED encounters at 7 centers was performed.

Results: Of 35 unique encounters by 32 patients, 3 main factors contributed to ED utilization: disease severity or course, day or time of care, and physician instruction. Of the ED encounters, approximately one-fifth were judged medically unnecessary, and one-half avoidable in a more optimal health care system.

Conclusions: ED visits by pediatric patients with IBD may be reduced in a more optimal health care system.

© 2014 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,


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