Choosing Wisely campaign targets waste and overuse in hospital pediatrics



3. Do not initiate phototherapy in term or late preterm well-appearing infants with neonatal hyperbilirubinemia if their bilirubin is below levels at which the AAP guidelines recommend treatment.

In making this recommendation, “we considered that the risk of kernicterus and cerebral palsy is extremely low in otherwise healthy term and late preterm newborns,” said Allison Holmes, MD, of Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Manchester, N.H. “Subthreshold phototherapy leads to unnecessary hospitalization and its associated costs and harms,” and data show that kernicterus generally occurs close to 40 mg/dL and occurs most often in infants with hemolysis, she added.

The evidence for the recommendations included data showing that, among other factors, 8.6 of 100,000 babies have a bilirubin greater than 30 mg/dL, said Dr. Holmes. Risks of using subthreshold phototherapy include increased length of stay, increased readmissions, and increased costs, as well as decreased breastfeeding, bonding with parents, and increased parental anxiety. “Adding prolonged hospitalization for an intervention that might not be necessary can be stressful for parents,” she said.

4. Do not use broad-spectrum antibiotics such as ceftriaxone for children hospitalized with uncomplicated community-acquired pneumonia. Use narrow-spectrum antibiotics such as penicillin, ampicillin, or amoxicillin.

Michelle Lossius, MD, of the Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida, Gainesville, noted that the recommendations reflect IDSA guidelines from 2011 advising the use of ampicillin or penicillin for this population of children. More recent studies with large populations support the ability of narrow-spectrum antibiotics to limit the development of resistant organisms while achieving the same or better outcomes for children hospitalized with CAP, she said.

5. Do not start IV antibiotic therapy on well-appearing newborn infants with isolated risk factors for sepsis such as maternal chorioamnionitis, prolonged rupture of membranes, or untreated group-B streptococcal colonization. Use clinical tools such as an evidence-based sepsis risk calculator to guide management.

“This recommendation combines other recommendations,” said Prabi Rajbhandari, MD, of Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital. The evidence is ample, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of sepsis calculators to guide clinical management in sepsis patients, she said.

Prabi Rajbhandari, MD, of Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital

Dr. Prabi Rajbhandari

Data comparing periods before and after the adoption of a sepsis risk calculator showed a significant reduction in the use of blood cultures and antibiotics, she noted. Other risks of jumping to IV antibiotics include increased hospital stay, increased parental anxiety, and decreased parental bonding, Dr. Rajbhandari added.

Dr. Francisco Alvarez, Stanford (Calif.) University

Dr. Francisco Alvarez

Next steps include how to prioritize implementation, as well as deimplementation of outdated practices, said Francisco Alvarez, MD, of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif. “A lot of our practices were started without good evidence for why they should be done,” he said. Other steps include value improvement research; use of dashboards and benchmarking; involving other stakeholders including patients, families, and other health care providers; and addressing racial disparities, he concluded.

The presenters had no financial conflicts to disclose. The conference was sponsored by the Academic Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society of Hospital Medicine.


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