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Improving Pediatric Patient Outcomes: Comparing Two Case Management Models

Poling, Deborah PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNE

doi: 10.1097/NCM.0b013e3182562d12
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Purpose of the Study: Case management (CM) is a growing and evolving profession. Outcomes-based research that identifies the role of CM is needed in health care today. Case management has been recognized as a way to help patients experience high-quality and cost-effective care. The purpose of this nonexperimental, retrospective research study was to examine two CM models and their effect on patient outcomes, including length of hospital stay and readmission to the hospital within 30 days of discharge with the same diagnosis.

Primary Practice Setting: The study was completed at two acute care pediatric hospitals in separate geographical regions of the country.

Methodology and Sample: Two CM models were compared by conducting a retrospective patient chart review. Seven hundred pediatric patient charts were reviewed to determine whether the patient outcomes met patient outcomes of interest. All patients were diagnosed with asthma and were between the ages of 2 and 18 years.

Results: Analysis of data indicated that the length of hospital stay at Hospital A was significantly shorter than the length of hospital stay for patients admitted to Hospital B. However, hospital readmission rates within 30 days of discharge at Hospital A versus Hospital B indicated no significant difference.

Implications for Case Management Practice: Further research that examines different CM models must account for variables such as complexity of disease process, age of patient on admission to the hospital, and relevance of discharge teaching.

Deborah Poling, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNE, has spent many years in the role of pediatric nurse case manager in an acute care pediatric hospital. She is an experienced nurse educator and currently the director of graduate nursing at Indiana University–Purdue University, Fort Wayne.

Address correspondence to Deborah Poling, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNE, Indiana University–Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2101 East Coliseum Boulevard, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 (polingd@ipfw.edu).

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.