Background Abscesses are a common reason for ED visits. While many are drained in the ED, some require drainage in the operating room (OR). We observed that a higher percentage of patients at our institution in Columbus, Ohio, were admitted to the hospital with abscesses for incision and drainage (I&D) in the OR than other institutions, including paediatric institutions. Our aim was to decrease hospitalisations for abscess management.
Methods A multidisciplinary team convened to decrease hospitalisation for patients with abscesses and completed multiple ‘Plan-Do-Study-Act’ cycles, including increasing I&Ds performed in the ED. Other interventions included implementation of a clinical pathway, training of procedure technicians (PT), updating the electronic medical record (EMR), credentialing advanced practice nurses in sedation and individual follow-up with providers for admitted patients. Data were analysed using statistical process control charts. Gross average charges were assessed.
Results Admissions for I&D decreased from 26.3% to 13.7%. Abscess drainage in the ED improved from 79.3% to 96.5%. Mean length of stay decreased from 19.5 to 11.5 hours for all patients. Patients sedated increased from 3.3% to 18.2%. The number of repeat I&Ds within 30 days decreased from 4.3% to 1.7%.
Conclusion We decreased hospitalisations for abscess I&D by using quality improvement methodology. The most influential intervention was an initiative to increase I&Ds performed in the ED. Additional interventions included expanded training of PTs, implementation of a clinical pathway, updating the EMR, improving interdepartmental communication and increasing sedation providers.
- quality improvement
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Handling editor Edward Carlton
Contributors MD conceptualised and designed the study, drafted the initial manuscript, collected the data, carried out the initial analyses and reviewed and revised the manuscript. KS collected the data, carried out the data analyses and reviewed and revised the manuscript. GE and BK conceptualised and designed the study, carried out the initial analyses and reviewed and revised the manuscript. SS conceptualised and designed the study and reviewed and revised the manuscript. MWD and DB designed the data collection instruments, coordinated and supervised the data collection, carried out the initial analyses and critically reviewed the manuscript. GB conceptualised and designed the study and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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