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Implementing Pediatric Asthma Pathways in Community Hospitals: A National Qualitative Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pathways can improve the quality of care and outcomes for children with asthma; however, we know little about how to successfully implement pathways across diverse hospital settings. Prior studies of pathways have focused on determining clinical effectiveness and the majority were conducted in children’s hospitals. These approaches have left crucial gaps in our understanding of how to successfully implement pathways in community hospitals, where most of the children with asthma are treated nationally.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the key determinants of successful pediatric asthma pathway implementation in community hospitals.
METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study of healthcare providers that served as project leaders in a national collaborative to improve pediatric asthma care. Data were collected by recording semi-structured discussions between project leaders and external facilitators (EF) from December 2017 to April 2018. Using inductive thematic analysis, we identified the themes that describe the key determinants of pathway implementation.
RESULTS: Project leaders (n = 32) from 18 hospitals participated in this study. The key determinants of pathway implementation in community hospitals included (1) building an implementation infrastructure (eg, forming a team of local champions, modifying clinical workflows, delivering education/skills training), (2) engaging and motivating providers (eg, obtaining project buy-in, facilitating multidisciplinary collaboration, handling conflict), (3) addressing organizational and resource limitations (eg, support for electronic medical record integration), and (4) devising implementation solutions with EFs (eg, potential workflow modifications).
CONCLUSIONS: Our identification of the key determinants of pathway implementation may help guide pediatric quality improvement efforts in community hospitals. EFs may play an important role in successfully implementing pathways in community settings.

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