We sought to characterize emergency department (ED) encounters for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to identify areas for prevention.
Retrospective chart review of 5 consecutive ED encounters at 7 centers was performed.
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.
ED visits by pediatric patients with IBD may be reduced in a more optimal health care system.
*Digestive Health Institute, Children's Hospital Colorado and Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
†Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California
‡Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
§Northwest Pediatric Gastroenterology LLC, Randall Children's Hospital, Portland, Oregon
||Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
¶Children's Digestive Disease Program, Pediatric Digestive Diseases, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Fairfax, Virginia
#Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Children's Specialty Group, Norfolk
**University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Edward J. Hoffenberg, MD, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received 24 April, 2014
Accepted 5 June, 2014
The authors report no conflicts of interest.